KARACHI: Syed Murad Ali Shah of the Pakistan Peoples Party and Mahmood Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf were elected chief ministers of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, respectively, with big margins on Thursday.
Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi — a joint nominee of the PTI and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid — and Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) comfortably won the election for the posts of speaker of Punjab and Balochistan assemblies, respectively.
Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani declared Mr Shah winner over his rival Shaharyar Mahar — a candidate fielded by the combined opposition — after conclusion of the election held by applying division of the house method.
Mr Shah secured 97 out of 158 votes polled. Mr Mahar, who belongs to the Grand Democratic Alliance, bagged 61 votes.
Protest over ‘horse trading’ in Punjab PA as Pervaiz Elahi wins speaker’s post by receiving votes from PML-N members
Two members of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan opted to abstain while the third, along with the only member of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), did not turn up during the voting.
Mr Shah became the province’s 28th elected chief minister and 35th overall, including seven individuals who had been given the post as caretakers since the late 1980s. He will take the oath as chief minister on Saturday.
In Peshawar, Mahmood Khan defeated joint opposition candidate Mian Nisar Gul who belongs to the MMA. Mr Khan secured 77 votes while Mr Gul received 33 votes.
The PTI, which swept the July 25 general elections in KP, had already grabbed the slots of speaker and deputy speaker of the provincial assembly on Wednesday.
Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra will administer the oath to the new chief minister on Friday.
A graduate from Agriculture University, Peshawar, Mahmood Khan is the first chief minister from tax-free Malakand division. He belongs to Swat district. He held the portfolio of tourism, sports, irrigation and home in the previous PTI-led government.
In his speech, the chief minister-elect said that eradication of corruption, improvement of transparency and de-politicisation of institutions would be his government’s top priorities.
Joint opposition parties, including the MMA and Awami National Party, assured the new government in KP their support.
In Lahore, Pervaiz Elahi took the oath as speaker of the Punjab Assembly amid a noisy protest and “horse-trading” slogans by the PML-N legislators.
More than 15 PML-N MPAs appear to have ditched their party’s candidate Chaudhry Iqbal Gujjar and voted for Mr Elahi.
PTI’s Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari was elected deputy speaker by obtaining 187 votes. The PML-N’s Waris Kallu could get 159 votes.
Of the 349 votes polled, Pervaiz Elahi bagged 201 while Chaudhry Iqbal Gujjar secured 147 votes.
One PTI vote was cancelled as the party’s senior leader Sadiqa Sahibdad Khan showed the vote to her colleague before putting it in the ballot box.
A PPP MPA cast the vote for Mr Elahi as the latter persuaded the former. However, the remaining six PPP members abstained themselves from the exercise.
In the deputy speaker election, PPP’s seven candidates abstained themselves from voting. Two votes were rejected.
Following the speaker’s election, the PML-N threatened to boycott the deputy speaker’s election to protest horse-trading. It agreed to contest the election after a meeting with a PTI delegation.
In Quetta, Abdul Quddus Bizenjo secured 39 of the total 59 votes polled. Haji Nawaz Kakar — a nominee of the joint opposition for the post of speaker — bagged 20 votes. None of the votes were rejected.
Outgoing speaker Rahila Durrani administered the oath to Mr Bizenjo.
PTI’s Sardar Babar Khan Musakhel was elected deputy speaker of the Balochistan Assembly. He secured 36 of the 58 votes cast, while his opponent — BNP’s Ahmed Nawaz — received 21 votes. One vote was rejected.
Mr Musakhel was a joint candidate of BAP, PTI, Awami National Party, Hazara Democratic Party, BNP-Awami and Jamhoori Watan Party.
Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2018