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KARACHI: The inaugural session of the 15th provincial assembly of Sindh, which came into being following the July 25 general elections, is scheduled to begin at 10am on Monday.

According to an order of acting Governor Agha Siraj Durrani, as notified on Friday by the provincial assembly’s secretariat, the session of the new 166-strong legislature has been convened on Monday at the Sindh Assembly building.

Mr Durrani, speaker of the former assembly, assumed the governor’s office after Muhammad Zubair’s resignation as governor of Sindh.

Mr Durrani himself or any individual nominated by him could preside over the session. “He could himself preside over the session and take the oath of new members or a nominee in his place could do the same, which is clearly mentioned in the assembly’s rules of procedure,” said G.M. Umar Farooq, secretary of the Sindh Assembly, while speaking to Dawn.

Former speaker Durrani, who is also acting governor after resignation of Zubair, may chair session

In case Mr Durrani presides over the session himself, said the Sindh Assembly official, he would take the oath of the membership himself before administering the same to the rest of the house.

According to sub-rule 2 of rule 6 of the assembly’s rules of procedure: “The (first) sitting held under sub-rule 1 shall be presided over by the outgoing speaker or, in his absence, by such a person as may be nominated by the governor.”

Since Mr Durrani occupies offices of acting governor and speaker, he could himself chair the inaugural session or he would nominate an individual.

Even if the house is run by some nominee, he could attend the session as a member to take oath, said another official. Apart from 38 reserved seats for women and religious minorities, the provincial legislature has 130 seats for winners of general seats.

The ECP has notified the results of 125 seats barring five — the results of four of which have been stayed by the Sindh High Court under pending petitions while election on PS-87 (Malir-I) was not held because of the death of a contestant. Needing 66 general seats to form a government, the PPP has alre­ady won 72 with results of four are pending and by-election on another is to be held.

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2018