PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly on Tuesday elected Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) Dr Mehar Taj Roghani as the new deputy speaker — the first ever woman to take up the post.
Dr Roghani was formerly working as the special assistant to chief minister for social welfare.
Elected after secret balloting, Dr Roghani secured 77 votes while her opponent, PML-N Arbab Akbar Hayat, managed to bag 37 votes.
A total of 119 votes were polled in the assembly of 124 MPAs, due to the absence of five legislators.
The presiding officer during the polling process, KP Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar rejected four votes including that of MPA Bakht Baidar Khan as he violated the polling rule by showing his vote to the chief minister before casting it.
Office of the deputy speaker has been lying vacant since October 2014 after the then deputy speaker Imtiaz Shahid was appointed the minister for law and parliamentary affairs.
In the absence of the deputy speaker, the assembly has been in session since Oct 23, 2014.
Being a member of the ruling PTI, Dr Roghani already had an edge over her rival candidate. She also enjoyed the support of the ruling coalition’s partners including Jamaat-i-Islami and Qaumi Watan Party.
According to a Dawn newspaper report, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Awami National Party and Pakistan People’s Party had pledged to support PML-N's Arbab Akbar Hayat.