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May 31, 2013

Sindh Assembly elects Qaim Ali Shah as CM

May 31, 2013

KARACHI: The newly-elected 14th house of the Sindh Assembly, on the very second day of its coming into being, elected through a majority vote Syed Qaim Ali Shah as the new chief minister of the province for a second consecutive term.
In total, Shah has secured a record third stint as provincial chief executive. Thursday’s session saw prolonged proceedings of the assembly, lasting from mid-day till late evening, which exhausted the newly elected members of the House and also representatives of the press corps amid hot and humid weather conditions.
The three electoral contests in the House for coveted constitutional posts, were a three-way fight along party lines. The Pakistan Peoples’ Party, being the leading party of the province in the aftermath of results of the May 11 general elections, emerged successful in gaining all three key provincial positions on basis of its clear majority of newly returned members in the house.
The Muttahida Quami Movement, being the second largest party in the legislature, and Pakistan Muslim League (Functional) plus PML (Nawaz), that would likely to form a major opposition bloc in the province, put up separate candidates for the three posts.
The three candidates in each of the three elections got votes clearly on party lines but these elections show well that Sindh Assembly’s house would be a divided affair on well-drawn political lines in the coming five years unlike the previous house of the assembly where opposition was virtually non-existent largely owing to policy of reconciliation led by the leadership of PPP.
Later, however, leading legislators of PPP, MQM, PML(N), PML(F), Tehreek-e-Insaf, and that of other smaller political groupings, in their speeches in the house expressed their resolve to run affairs of the assembly through collective wisdom and general consensus of the assembly’s members, for better governance and protection of rights of people of Sindh.
The house for the second consecutive day

kept reverberated with political sloganeering throughout the day, which becomes highly accentuated every time the announcement was made by the chair that the PPP-nominated candidates own the election for speaker, deputy-speaker, and lastly leader of the house.
The political sloganeering most of the time was made in favour and praise of People’s Party and its present and demised leadership except one clear occasion when MQM’s legislators in the house resorted to shouting slogans vociferously in favour of their leader Altaf Hussain.
That was the time when the vote count of the MQM-nominated candidate for leader of the house, was announced in the house.The PPP’s slogans were raised by its supporters and activists sitting in large number in the visitors’ gallery.
The election for the post of provincial chief minister was done through head count of the legislators who raised from their chair, turn by turn, in favour of any of the three contesting candidates for leader of the house.
Earlier, the plan to conduct the election of chief minister, in accordance with the assembly rules, was through division of the house but on suggestion of outgoing speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, the house through consensus of opinion, gained through leading legislators of political groupings, agreed to conduct the election through head count.
The assembly after election of speaker saw change in chair of custodian of the house as Agha Sirj Khan Durrani assumed the position of speaker from Khuhro. Syed Shehla Raza Zaidi being elected as deputy-speaker took oath of the position for the second consecutive term. Durrani was administered oath of the office of speaker by outgoing speaker Khuhro while Shehla Raza was given oath by the newly elected speaker Durrani.
In the election for the position of chief minister, Qaim Ali Shah fought and won against candidatures of Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh of PML (F) and Syed Sardar Ahmed of MQM. Qaim Ali Shah won the election by gaining 86 votes, while Syed Sardar Ahmed remained runner-up with 48 votes, while Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh got 18 votes.
Through the process of head count for election of leader of the house, much time was saved, as the whole election process concluded in mere 25 minutes. The house was earlier adjourned at around 6pm after completion of the election for the posts of speaker and deputy-speaker and later re-convened at around 7:40 pm for election of provincial chief minister.
For the post of speaker, Durrani won against Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan of MQM and Irfanullah Khan Marwat of PML (N) having support of Functional Muslim League.
Both the election for post of speaker and deputy-speaker was done through secret balloting. In the speaker’s contest total 155 votes were polled, Durrani got 87 votes, Marwat secured 18 votes, while Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan got 48 votes.
For the post of deputy-speaker, Shehla Raza won against Heer Soho of MQM and Nusrat Sehar Abbasi of PML(F). Total 152 votes were polled in this election, with Shehla Raza gaining victory with 86 votes, Heer Soho was runner-up with 48 votes, while Nusrat Abbasi stood third with 18 votes.
The three newly elected members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf stayed away from the election of chief minister while at least one of the PTI’s leading MPA Samar Ali Khan did cast his vote in the election of speaker.
After being elected leader of the house for the third time amid sloganeering in favour of PPP and its slain leaders, Qaim Ali Shah termed restoration of law and order in Sindh as its foremost priority for ruling the province for the consecutive second term.
He said that people of Sindh yet for another time reposed confidence in the Peoples’ Party to rule the province as this is the sole representative political entity of the province, which always come up to the expectations of masses especially in affairs related to provision of employment and distribution of land to downtrodden peasants.
He said that PPP in its previous stints of rule in the province duly provided jobs to qualified and deserving youth while also gave due socio-economic status to women including given them for the first time in the country’s history land for agricultural cultivation.
Faisal Sabzwari of MQM urged the newly elected chief minister to instantly act for restoring peace and law and order situation in Sindh especially in urban parts of the province.
He said the province of Sindh could not progress on financial and economic fronts till the resolution on effective and permanent basis the issues of terrorism and law and order gravely affecting the lives of general public.
He said the MQM would support and stood by every genuine and sincere effort of the PPP’s government in the province to resolve issues of law and order, terrorism, energy crisis, and other major socio-economic problems of people of lower and middle-income groups.
Senior legislator of MQM Syed Sardar Ahmed said that new rulers of the province should spare efforts for creating genuine participatory democracy with promotion of local government system in order to resolve pressing issues of the masses.
Irfanullah Khan Marwat of PML(N) on behalf of his victorious political party on the national scene, said that incoming federal government would desist from doing undue interference in the working of government of Sindh.
Imtiaz Shaikh of PML (F) expressed hope that newly elected PPP’s government would desist from victimization and persecution of its political opponents in the province.
He said the incoming government of the province had to do much this time for welfare of people of Sindh and especially provision of peaceful and secured living environment for them.
Syed Hafeezuddin of PTI also on behalf of his emerging political party expressed support for constructive and pro-development projects and policies of the new government of the province.
Manzoor Hussain Wassan, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Sharmila Farooqui, and other legislators of PPP also delivered speeches in the house and greeted Qaim Ali Shah and lent their support for the CM-elect.
Later, Qaim Ali Shah took oath of the office of chief minister at the Sindh Governor House. Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad Khan administered the oath while he also gave oath to seven MPAs of PPP as members of the new Sindh cabinet.

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