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Peshawar

March 25, 2015

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Govt blamed for failing to evolve consensus on final candidate

PESHAWAR: The current sitting of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, which is one of the longest sessions in the parliamentary history of the provincial legislature, was adjourned for another three days after remaining in business for less than an hour on Tuesday.
The opposition benches put the blame on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led ruling alliance for failing to develop consensus in its ranks over the final candidate for the vacant post of the Deputy Speaker.
The opposition members said the PTI’s distrust of its ‘disgruntled’ lawmakers in the secret ballot for the Deputy Speaker has forced the government to delay the election for the office.The lack of interest on the part of the lawmakers, including provincial ministers and parliamentary secretaries, could be gauged from their low attendance in assembly. The poor attendance meant that most of the questions during the question-hour were kept pending or lapsed.
The call attention notices were not entertained as the movers Shaukat Ali Yousafzai of PTI and Salim Khan of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) were not present in the assembly.Qaumi Watan Party Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Meraj Humayun, who wanted to take the floor but couldn’t as the session was adjourned, told this scribe that the government was apparently reluctant to hold election for the Deputy Speaker’s office.
The office of the Deputy Speaker has been vacant for six months while the assembly has been in session for five months.“Under the rules, the speaker has yet to announce holding the election, which he had committed on the first day of the current session,” she said.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MPA Arbab Akbar Hayat said the ruling alliance, particularly the PTI could not evolve consensus on a unanimous candidate for the Deputy Speaker’s office.“Due to its distrust of some of its own MPAs, the PTI leadership is reluctant to hold election for Deputy Speaker,” he said. He added the ruling party had yet

to decide its final candidate for the vacant post.
However, parliamentary secretary for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Arif Yousuf, who is also an aspirant for the post, told this scribe that the recent Senate elections in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly had proved that there were no differences in the ruling alliance.
“Leader of the House and parliamentary leaders of the ruling alliance have agreed on the final candidate for Deputy Speaker and hopefully the election would be announced in the session,” he added.
It is worth mentioning here that Imtiaz Shahid Qureshi had resigned as Deputy Speaker to take oath as Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs prior to the current session that commenced on October 23 last year.
Meanwhile, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shops and Establishment Bill, 2015; the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Prohibition of Employment of Children Bill, 2015; the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Bill and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Establishment of Information Technology Board (amendment) Bill were tabled in the provincial assembly.

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