KARACHI: With the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is all set to form the next government in Sindh for record fourth consecutive time, former chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah is being tipped to be the party’s nominee for the new leader of the house, it emerged on Monday.

Although the PPP is yet to make a formal announcement regarding the next chief minister, party insiders claimed that no hurdle was now left in Mr Shah’s nomination as the province’s chief executive.

Initially, names of former local government minister Nasir Shah, former information minister Sharjeel Memon and Mr Zardari’s sister, Faryal Talpur, were in circulation but Murad Ali Shah’s name gained prominence for the slot, they added.

They said that the party leadership, particularly Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, was utterly satisfied with his performance, especially during and after the unprecedented floods and Covid-19 in the province.

Mr Shah was first elected Sindh chief minister in 2016. After the 2018 general elections, he was nominated for the coveted office by his party.

Peoples Party enjoys comfortable majority in PA; its numeric strength will rise to 112 after allocation of reserved seats

The PPP had earlier formed the Sindh government after winning the general elections held in 2008, 2013 and 2018.

Talking to Dawn, PPP-Sindh president Senator Nisar Ahmed Khurho, said that the party leadership would announce its nominee for the slot of CM a couple of days before the session of the newly elected assembly.

He denied that there was any lobbying or grouping over the nomination of the new leader of the house in the provincial assembly.

Party position in Sindh Assembly

In the Feb 8 general elections held on 130 general seats of the Sindh Assembly, the PPP had secured 87 seats, followed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan that bagged 28 seats, Grand Democratic Alliance and Jamaat-i-Islami two each and 11 independents backed by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

The PPP enjoys a comfortable majority in the house and it doesn’t need support from any other party to get its speaker, deputy speaker and chief minister elected.

Based on its numeric strength, the PPP will be allotted 19 and six seats reserved for women and minorities, respectively, taking the number of PPP’s elected members to 112 in the 168-strong provincial assembly.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s formula to allocate provincial assembly seats reserved for women and minority groups, for every nine MPAs from a particular party, two reserved seats are allocated to its listed members.

Similarly, for every 14 MPAs from a political party, a reserved seat for minority groups is given to listed members.

The MQM-P that emerged as the second largest party in the provincial assembly will be allotted six reserved seats for women and two or three minority seats.

And, if the 11 PTI-backed independent MPA join a party, it will be allotted three seats reserved for women and one minority seat.

Either GDA of the JI, which got two seats of the provincial assembly each, will be given one remaining reserved seat for women through a draw between the two parties.

Sources in the ECP said that the reserved seats would be allotted after the successful candidates were officially notified by the ECP.

They said that the independent candidates would be given three days to join any party in assembly and if they did not do so in the stipulated time they would remain independent candidates in the assembly.

The sources said that the ECP was constitutionally bound to issue notification of successful candidates within 14 days.

They said that after the notification, the governor would summon the first sitting of the assembly wherein the elected members will take their oath and then elect speaker by secret ballot under the assembly rules.

The sitting of the assembly for the election of the speaker shall be presided over by the out-going speaker or, in his absence, by the person nominated by the governor.

Immediately after the election of the speaker, the assembly will proceed to elect a deputy speaker.

After the election of the speaker and the deputy speaker, the assembly will proceed to elect one of its members as the chief minister without any debate.

Informed sources said that the governor would summon the first sitting of the newly-elected assembly members most probably the very next day of the issuance of ECP notification.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2024

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