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November 9, 2015

National Assembly to elect speaker today

Top Story

November 9, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly will elect a new speaker for its remaining term of two- and-a-half years today (Monday).
The PML-N candidate Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, who was also supported by all the opposition parties except the PTI, has a clear edge over his rival, Shafqat Mahmood of the PTI, to be re-elected as speaker National Assembly. Ayaz Sadiq submitted his nomination papers on Sunday morning for the post of speaker and after scrutiny, the nomination papers of the three contesting candidates — Ayaz Sadiq, Shafqat Mehmood and GG Jamal — for the National Assembly speakership were declared valid.A member who has been nominated can withdraw his candidature any time before the National Assembly proceeds to elect the speaker.
It may be mentioned that the NA-22 seat had fallen vacant due to disqualification of Ayaz Sadiq by the election tribunal. Ayaz Sadiq has been re-elected as MNA from the same constituency in the recently held by-election.
Talking to reporters after submitting his nomination papers, Ayaz Sadiq said, “I am thankful to Almighty Allah that I am again nominated as speaker of the National Assembly.”
He thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the party leadership for nominating him again as the PML-N candidate for the National Assembly speakership. He said that senior Jamaat-e-Islami leader Liaquat Baloch has assured him of the party’s support. He said different political parties, including the PPP, JUI-F, PML-F and ANP have assured him to cast votes in his favour. He said he is meeting different political parties and political leaders to seek their support.
Ayaz Sadiq said if voted to the slot of the speaker, he will make efforts to conduct the proceedings of the Lower House in a neutral manner and will try to perform even better than his previous term.
He said almost all the political parties except PTI are ready to cast votes in his favour. Meanwhile, the government is making contacts with different parties to ensure

unopposed election of the NA speaker and the PTI has also been contacted in this regard.
The JUI-F has announced unflinching support for Ayaz Sadiq. The 13-member JUI-F is last of 17 groups that have announced support for Ayaz Sadiq. Ayaz Sadiq and former federal minister Zahid Hamid met the JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman at his Minister Enclave residence on Sunday and sought his support for the contest.
The biggest dilemma before the PTI in the election of speaker is to secure the support of all members for its candidate Shafqat Mahmood. The PTI has 33 members in the National Assembly while AML of Sheikh Rashid Ahmad has only one vote and it is unlikely that the PTI candidate would be able to obtain two third of its total members.
Ayaz Sadiq is expecting to get 281 votes since 17 groups have announced their support for him in the contest. He is sure to cross his previous number of votes, 258, in June 2013 elections. Chaudhry Muhammad Junaid Anwar, PML-N MNA from TT Singh, hosted a dinner in the honour of the members of the National Assembly at a local hotel Sunday evening and it was attended by Ayaz Sadiq and a large number of the members supporting him in the election for the office of the speaker.
The Fata group announced withdrawal of its candidate Dr Ghazi Gulab Jamal (GG Jamal) and announced support for Ayaz Sadiq. The government announced constitution of a special committee headed by Adviser to the PM for Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz to look into the demands of the Fata group and submit report within 15 days.
The dinner reception was also attended by Ayaz Sadiq and Saudi Arabia’s ambassador for Pakistan Abdullah Marzouk Al-Zahrani, deputy ambassador of Iran and Iraq were also present in the dinner. Retired General Pervez Musharraf’s APML member of the National Assembly Prince Iftikharuddin has also announced his support for Ayaz Sadiq. Mussarat Ahmedzeb and her seven colleagues of the PTI were also present in the dinner who pledged to vote for Sardar Ayaz Sadiq. The contest has become one-to-one since Sardar Ayaz Sadiq will fight against Shafqat Mahmood of the PTI.
Some members of the PTI were reluctant in voting for Shafqat Mahmood. Former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and parliamentary group Leader of the PML of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain have announced support for Ayaz Sadiq.
The parliamentary groups who have announced support for Ayaz Sadiq are: PML-N, PPP, MQM, JUI-F, PML-F, Jamaat-e-Islami, PkMAP, NPP, PML, ANP, BNP, QWP, PML-Z, NP, AJI, APML, dissidents of the PTI and independents including Fata group. The PTI candidate will have support of lone member group of Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, the sources added.

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