Monday April 15, 2024

PPP clinches speaker, deputy speaker slots in Sindh Assembly

Awais Qadir Shah, Anthony Naveed secure top slots after securing 111 votes each

By Web Desk
February 25, 2024
Sindh Assembly Speaker Awais Qadir Shah (left) administers oath to newly-elected Deputy Speaker Anthony Naveed in this still taken from a video on February 25, 2024. — Geo News
Sindh Assembly Speaker Awais Qadir Shah (left) administers oath to newly-elected Deputy Speaker Anthony Naveed in this still taken from a video on February 25, 2024. — Geo News

KARACHI: The Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) on Sunday clinched the top slots of speaker and deputy speaker in the Sindh Assembly after their candidates Awais Qadir and Anthony Naveed secured a majority of votes.

Qadir Shah won the post after securing 111 votes while his opponent, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan's (MQM-P) Sofia Saeed, could only bag 36 votes.

Following his election, new Speaker Qadir Shah was administered an oath by outgoing speaker Agha Siraj Durrani.

Meanwhile, Naveed secured 111 votes against MQM-P's Rashid Khan, who could only manage to get 36 votes. Naveed was then sworn in as the deputy speaker in an oath-taking administered by Qadir Shah.

Today's session began with a brief delay after which some members of the provincial assembly took oath.

However, members of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) boycotted the election of a new speaker and deputy by abstaining from casting their votes.

Ahead of the voting for the speaker, outgoing speaker Durrani briefed the members about the polling process. 

Assembly to function in best way possible: Shah

Following his win, Shah thanked PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur for their support.

"It is an honour to be elected as the assembly's speaker from Sukkur for the first time," he said. 

He urged the lawmakers to forget the past and begin a new era, assuring to treat all the members equally. 

“My only request is that if we follow the rule book, then God willing this house will function in the best way possible,” he added. He also expressed hope that the house would meet the expectations of the public.

9 SIC, 1 JI member takes oath

As the session started today, about nine members of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) and Jamat-e-Islami's (JI) Muhammad Farooq, who did not attend the oath-taking ceremony yesterday, took an oath.

Speaker Durrani welcomed the newly elected members of the SIC.

Following this, PPP's nominee for chief minister, Murad Ali Shah, said that 12 of their workers were killed during the election campaigns.

"Our leader Aziz Junejo, who won the elections, passed away. The assembly should pray for them," said Shah, adding that our country is suffering from terrorism.

A day earlier, at least 148 newly-elected Sindh Assembly members took oath in the House of 168 as parties took to the streets to hold demonstrations against the alleged rigging in the February 8 polls.

The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), PTI and Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM-Haqiqi), had announced to hold a joint "peaceful" protest outside the assembly.

However, the situation turned tense before the swearing-in ceremony, as several workers, including women, clashed with the police party present there to keep the order.

Over 20 Qaumi Awami Tehreek workers, including women, were arrested and shifted to the police station during the clashes. The law enforcement officials also baton-charged the protestors.

The protests continued for hours and were called off after the police baton-charged and detained at least 30 protesters from near the Arts Council for staging a demonstration and raising slogans in the Red Zone area amid the imposition of Section-144.

On the other hand, the Punjab Assembly on Saturday elected Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidates Malik Ahmed Khan and Malik Zaheer Ahmed Channer as the House's speaker and deputy speaker, respectively.