ISLAMABAD: Pakistan underwent its first democratic transition of power when newly elected parliamentarians of the 14th National Assembly took oath on Saturday.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and the prime minister-to-be, Nawaz Sharif stepped into the lower house after a lapse of about 13 and a half years while the PTI Chief Imran Khan could not turn up to take oath as MNA at the maiden session of the National Assembly for the new government as he is still recovering from his injuries.
The session as well as the oath-taking ceremony was marred by a two-hour delay after the scheduled time of 10 am.
The outgoing Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza administered oath to 301 newly elected MNAs. She is the second speaker who has been elected again as member National Assembly after Gohar Ayyub.
The nomination papers for the offices of speaker and deputy speaker will be submitted till 12 noon on June 2.
On June 3, the process to elect the speaker will take place after which Dr Fehmida Mirza will take oath from the new speaker. After the transfer of authority to the newly elected speaker, selection of deputy speaker will take place.
Both the elections will be done through secret ballot.
Nomination papers for the position of chief minister (leader of the house) will be submitted till 2 pm on June 4. The new prime minister will be elected by dividing the house on June 5.
The session was later adjourned and will resume at 11 am on Monday.
In a unique turn of events in the history of the country a smooth transition of power has taken place for the first time by a civilian government.
The 13th National Assembly (2008-13) had completed its five years term that too for the first time in the democratic history of Pakistan.
Special cards had been issued to high-level civil and military officials, diplomats, and important personalities to witness the maiden session of National Assembly.
The security staff of the Parliament was present at the gates of the parliament to receive the newly elected MNAs after the identification, while elaborate security measures had been ensured within the building of Parliament.
The National Assembly hall has been refurbished for the newly elected members of Lower House. The MNAs elect have been allotted seats as per Urdu alphabetical order. Parliamentary leaders have been allotted seats in front rows.
The total strength of the august House is 342 where 272 are filled with direct elections, while 60 seats are reserved for women and 10 for the religious minorities.