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Friday May 24, 2024

Maryam, Murad to be elected CMs of Punjab, Sindh today

Maryam Nawaz got elected from two seats of Lahore including NA 119 and PP-159 and she retained the provincial assembly seat

By Azeem Samar & Faizan Bangash & Zubair Ashraf
February 26, 2024
This combo picture shows PMLN parliamentary leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif (L) and Former Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. — Facebook/Maryam Nawaz Sharif/Facebook/Syed Murad Ali Shah
This combo picture shows PMLN parliamentary leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif (L) and Former Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. — Facebook/Maryam Nawaz Sharif/Facebook/Syed Murad Ali Shah

LAHORE/KARACHI: Punjab and Sindh assemblies will elect chief ministers today (Monday).

Punjab is most likely to elect the first ever female chief minister in Pakistan’s history in form of PMLN’s Maryam Nawaz as voting for the CM slot will take place in Punjab Assembly. While, Sindh Assembly will elect the new leader of the house. Syed Murad Ali Shah, as being the nominee of the PPP for the top office in the province, is sure to win the election.

PMLN parliamentary leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif has a support of 225 MPAs in the House and the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) has fielded PTI stalwart from Faisalabad Rana Aftab Ahmad Khan, who enjoys the support of around 103 MPAs.

Still, the SIC MPAs are yet to receive the reserved seats which could take its strength to over 130 MPAs in the House of 371. Nomination papers of both the candidates were filed in the Assembly Secretariat on Sunday.

In behalf of Maryam Nawaz, MPAs Ayub Gadhi, Mian Yawar Zaman, Mian Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman, Khawaja Imran Nazir submitted the nomination papers whereas SIC candidate Rana Aftab himself filed his nomination papers. Secretary Assembly Chaudhry Amir Habib received the nomination papers.

This is pertinent to mention that never before in the history of Pakistan, a woman CM has been sworn in as the Chief Executive of the province. Maryam Nawaz is also going to be the fourth member of Sharif family and first woman member of her family to get elected as CM if she wins the contest.

Maryam Nawaz got elected from two seats of Lahore including NA 119 and PP-159 and she retained the provincial assembly seat. She contested against the PTI backed candidate Mehr Sharafat and the contest went very close.

Over all, she is the sixth member of Sharif family who has got elected in a general or a by poll. Before her, Nawaz Sharif, Sheheba Sharif, Abbas Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz and Begum Kalsoom Nawaz has got elected from Lahore.

The candidate of SIC Rana Aftab Ahmad Khan is also a seasoned politician who served as PPP MPA for three terms in 1988, 1993 and 2002. He joined PTI in 2013. Rana Aftab Ahmad won the 2024 general election and got elected as MPA for fourth term.

Meanwhile, the PMLN has started finalizing the names of her cabinet. Party sources said that it was decided that the provincial cabinet will be constituted in a phased manner and for the first phase some names were under discussion. They said the provincial cabinet of Maryam Nawaz will also contain ministers from allied parties of the PMLN.

Sources said in the first phase, 15 to 20 ministers were expected to be made from PMLN and two each from PPP and Q-League, and one from IPP.

The names under discussion included PMLN leaders Maryam Aurangzeb, Azma Bukhari, Tahir Sindhu, Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rahman, Khawaja Salman Rafiq, Bilal Yasin, Khawaja Imran Nazir, Rukhsana Kausar, Manshaullah Butt, Sardar Sher Ali Gurchani, Kazim Ali Pirzada, Colonel retired Muhammad Ayub Khan Gadhi, Malik Asif Bhai, Akhtar Bosal, Rahila Khadim Hussain, Mian Yawar Zaman, Fida Hussain Watto, Tanveer Aslam Malik, Malik Asad Khokhar, Farrukh Ali Javed and Sheikh Salman Naeem.

Sources further claimed that PPP’s Syed Ali Haider Gillani, Malik Ghazanfar Abbas Chheena of IPP and Chaudhry Shafi Hussain of PMLQ was also likely to be included in the provincial cabinet.

Meanwhile, the newly elected members of PMLN Balochistan agreed on the names of Sheikh Jafar Mandukhel for the Governor Balochistan and Rahila Hameed Durrani for the Speaker Balochistan Assembly.

Sources said in this regard a meeting of PMLN Parliamentary Board of Balochistan was held and discussed the matters of government formation in Balochistan.

The meeting was chaired by the PMLN Provincial President Sheikh Jafar Mandukhel while former Chief Minister Jam Kamal, Raheela Durrani, Sardar Abdul Rahman Khetran, Salim Khosa, Asim Kurd and others participated in it.

The meeting decided that the PMLN should get important ministries and advisor positions in the provincial cabinet. The meeting also expressed reservations about including Balochistan Awami Party in the upcoming government.

When contacted, PMLN spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb about these issues, she didn’t reply.

Meanwhile, The Muttahida Qaumi Movement–Pakistan (MQMP) has nominated its MPA Ali Khurshidi for the Sindh chief minister slot, a statement issued by the party on Sunday read.

Khurshidi will be competing against the PPP nominee Murad Ali Shah in the election for the CM slot in the Sindh Assembly today.

It is pertinent to mention that Shah has served twice as the Sindh CM from 2016 to 2018 and 2018 to 2023. It will be his third stint on the same post, if elected.

Khurshidi on the other hand has served as an MPA for the MQM-P from 2018 to 2023. He was elected again from PS-119 (West IV), with 22,424 votes.

Although the PPP has the majority in the Sindh Assembly to elect its CM, the MQM-P has decided to field its candidate as a formality to not let Shah elected unopposed, said a party spokesperson.

Meanwhile, newly elected MPAs belonging to the PPP Syed Awais Qadir Shah and Anthony Naveed were elected as the new Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Sindh Assembly on Sunday.

The voting for the elections for the office of Speaker and Deputy Speaker were held in the house of the Sindh Assembly.

Earlier, nine MPAs-elect belonging to Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) (earlier PTI-backed independent MPAs-elect) and a lawmaker-elect belonging to Jamaat-e-Islami took oath in the house. So far, a total of 157 MPAs-elect have taken oath in the Sindh Assembly.

The nine SIC lawmakers and a JI’s MPA didn’t take part in the elections for the speaker and deputy speaker in the house.

A total of 147 votes were polled in the election for Speaker.

PPP-nominated candidate Awais Qadir Shah secured 111 votes while the candidate of Muttahida Quami Movement Pakistan Sofia Saeed Shah secured 36 votes. Shah took the oath of office as the new Speaker in the Sindhi language. Outgoing speaker Agha Siraj Khan Durrani administered the oath.

After assuming the Speaker’s chair, Shah expressed gratitude to the PPP’s leadership for nominating him for the coveted office in the provincial legislature. He also thanked the people of Sindh for voting in favour of the PPP’s candidates in the February 8 general elections.

He told the house that it was the first time that the Speaker of the Sindh Assembly belonged to Sukkur. Shah expressed resolve that he would discharge his responsibilities as the custodian of the house in an impartial manner. He recalled that the Sindh Assembly had passed the resolution for the creation of Pakistan.

Shah said that it was an honour for him to become the Speaker. He assured the MPAs that every one of them would get ample time in the house to raise issues of their constituencies and voters.

He said the proceedings of the house would be run according to the rules as the assembly would continue to pass laws to resolve public issues.

Later, PPP’s candidate Anthony Naveed emerged victorious in the election for Deputy Speaker. Out of 147 votes polled in the election, he secured 111 votes. MQM’s candidate in the poll Rashid Khan secured 36 votes.

Naveed after his election expressed gratitude to the PPP’s leadership for reposing trust in him for the coveted office in the house. He said that it was the first time that a non-Muslim was assuming the office of Sindh Assembly’s Deputy Speaker. He mentioned that the PPP’s leadership had always reposed trust in the members of religious minorities.

Speaking on the occasion, former Sindh chief minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah expressed pleasure that the election for the office of speaker and deputy speaker had been completed cordially.

He praised the services of Agha Siraj Durrani as the speaker in the past 10 years. He mentioned that Durrani had been imprisoned in the past regime as he had used to come from the jail to chair the proceedings of the house.

The former Sindh CM expressed his desire to become the speaker in future while recalling that his father had also served as the Speaker of the Sindh Assembly. He also praised the services of outgoing Deputy Speaker Rehana Laghari.

He mentioned that the Sindh Assembly had a role in the creation of Pakistan as the province had also played its role in protecting Pakistan. He appealed to the lawmakers in the house to lend support to the newly elected speaker.