PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq elected NA speaker in protest-marred session

Ayaz Sadiq

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Friday took oath as the 23rd speaker of the National Assembly after he was elected to the post with 199 votes.

Outgoing speaker Raja Parvez Ashraf administered the oath.

The PML-N politician defeated the PTI-backed candidate Malik Aamir Dogar who bagged 91 votes out of 291. One vote was declared invalid.

After the result was announced, Sadiq went to meet Dogar where he also met other SIC lawmakers.

After the oath-taking, the new speaker thanked the leaders of all major political parties for reposing trust in his leadership.

In his address to the lawmakers, Sadiq assured the opposition members of running the affairs of the house with fairness.

“I am thankful to Allah (SWT) for being elected for the third time in this position. I am thankful to PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif for nominating me,” he said.

The NA speaker said: “Aamir Dogar has always called him a big brother and I will show him by becoming a big brother.”

“My doors are open for everyone.”

The PML-N leader said he would try to create a consensus in politics with the help of all stakeholders. He urged both sides of the aisle to have differences but in a democratic way.

Today’s session

The NA session was convened today to elect the speaker and deputy speaker during which opposition lawmakers chanted slogans against alleged rigging in the Feb 8 polls.

Before the session started SIC’s parliamentary party meeting was held in the house’s lobby, where they vowed to continue their protest in the assembly.

This is the second consecutive day that SIC has been protesting in the National Assembly over “rigged” results.

As the session began, Speaker Ashraf asked if there were any new members present who had missed the oath-taking a day earlier.

As no new members came forward, the speaker then gave the floor to PTI-backed Omar Ayub Khan to speak on a point of order.

The lawmaker alleged that foreigners were present in the house.

“People who got fake mandate have entered the house, hence, they should be expelled,” said Omar, adding that “prisoner number 804”, the number assigned to PTI founder Imran Khan in Adiala Jail, should be brought to the Assembly.

The MNA, who had a sore throat, said they would raise their voice even if their throat is sore or slit.

Ayub reiterated that the House was incomplete as the ECP is yet to announce the allocation of reserved seats in the National Assembly.

After Ayub spoke, the speaker informed him that the lawmakers that were sitting in the House were those who were declared as winners by the Election Commission of Pakistan after the February 8 elections. He also added that if they had an objection then they should approach the ECP.

The speaker’s comments infuriated the SIC members.

Following this, the speaker began the process for the speaker’s election.

The voting lasted for at least two hours and chants and slogans could be heard during the process.

SIC lawmakers that cast their votes chanted slogans in favour of incarcerated PTI founder Imran Khan as they put their ballot paper in the box set up near the speaker’s seat.

MQM-P, PML-N agree to amend Article 140

During the proceedings today, a drama unfolded when the MQM-P surprisingly walked out of the house and boycotted the polling process for the speaker.

PML-N leaders including the nominee for speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq went after them in Committee Room No. 2 to win over them to return to the house and participate in the voting process.

In return, the MQM-P demanded a constitutional amendment to empower the local bodies.

After negotiations, the PML-N acceded to MQM-P’s demand and agreed to a constitutional amendment in Article 140.

Ahsan Iqbal and Mustafa Kamal signed the agreement on PML-N and MQM-P’s behalf respectively.

JUI-F boycotts
Raising serious reservations over the 2024 election results, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has announced that his party would not participate in the elections for the top political slots — president, prime minister, and the National Assembly (NA) speaker.

The JUI-F leader, speaking to journalists in Islamabad Thursday, said his party would sit in the opposition and its lawmakers would abstain from voting during the upcoming electoral events in the assemblies.

In response to a question regarding JUI-F’s strategy for a protest movement, he said: “Wait for it. We will represent the nation soon.”.