LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly is set to elect its new speaker on Friday (today) as both the ruling coalition and the opposition alliance have pitched their candidates for the coveted post.
The House in its proceedings on Thursday adopted a resolution seeking suspension of the assembly rules that authorise the governor to summon a session for the contest and also holding a vote of no-confidence against Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari at 4pm on Friday.
Sibtain Khan, the PTI lawmaker from Mianwali, has been nominated by the ruling coalition comprising PTI and PML-Q for the office of the speaker, which fell vacant due to the election of Parvez Elahi, the previous holder of the post, as chief minister. Opposition parties PML-N and PPP have fielded Saiful Malook Khokhar as their joint candidate.
Nomination papers of both the contestants were cleared after scrutiny by newly-appointed assembly secretary Inayatullah Lak. His predecessor Muhammad Khan Bhatti was transferred and posted as principal secretary to the chief minister in an unprecedented move as no assembly service officer has ever been sent on deputation to general service post.
Earlier, a sitting of the longest session of the assembly was held with Panel of Chairman Wasim Badozai in the chair in which former law minister Raja Basharat tabled a resolution to suspend the rules of business for holding polls for the seat of speaker and for no-confidence vote against Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari on Friday afternoon. The motion was adopted with a majority vote.
After reading out the procedure for the election of the new speaker, Mr Badozai put off the proceedings for Friday afternoon.
Sibtain Khan told the media that the PML-N would fail to stage any upset during the poll for speaker and hoped that he would easily win the contest. He said everyone saw what happened with the letter (of PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat) that the N-League had brought to win the CM’s poll.
Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2022