ISLAMABAD: The newly elected members of the National Assembly were sworn-in the presence of a capacity crowd seated in visitors' gallery on Saturday in the inaugural session of the 14th National Assembly. (PML-N) Chief and prime minister-in- waiting Nawaz Sharif was also among the members who took oath.
The National Assembly has 190 first time MNAs. The new assembly will also have some disgruntled Baloch leaders who were not a part of the system during the previous five years. Among those who made a comeback were Shiekh Rashid and Ijaz ul Haq and Kashmala Tariq. Among the missing were most of the PPP and PML-Q MNAs who routed out during the elections, mostly in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The outgoing Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza administered oath to 301 parliamentarians. She is the second speaker who has been elected again as member National Assembly after Gohar Ayub. The proceedings began with the recitation of the holy Quran.
It was followed by the playing of the national anthem. The swearing-in officially marked the first transition of power from one democratically-elected government to another in the 66-year history of the country. The 13th National Assembly (2008-13) had completed its five year-term that too was a first in the democratic history of Pakistan. The country's history has been punctuated by three periods of military rule.
Some of the successful candidates who did not show up for the inaugural session to take oath included Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan andJamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
On the other hand, nomination papers for speaker and deputy speaker the National Assembly will be submitted to the NA secretary by 12 noon on Sunday whereas the election for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker will be held on Monday June 3rd, which Dr Fehmida Mirza will take oath from the new speaker. After the transfer of authority to the newly elected Speaker, election of Deputy speaker will take place. Both the elections will be done through secret ballot.
The election for the prime minister (leader of the house) will be held on June 5 and nomination papers for the position will be submitted till 2 pm on June 4.
The PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif is all set to become prime minister of the country for the third time as his faction of the Pakistan Muslim League has comfortable majority in the house. The PML-N has 176 members in the 324-member house. The total strength of the august House is 342 where 272 are filled with direct elections, while 60 seats are reserved for women and 10 for the religious minorities. Pakistan Muslim League functional as well as several smaller parties and independent members are also expected to vote for Nawaz Sharif.
Peoples Party Parliamentarians is the second largest party in the National Assembly with 39 seats‚ followed by PTI 35 and MQM 23. JUI(F) has 14 seats‚ PML(F) 6‚ PMAP and JI four each‚ NPP three‚ Pakistan Muslim League two and ANP‚ BNP‚ Qaumi Watan Party (Sherpao)‚ PML-Z‚ NP‚ Awami Muslim League‚ All Pakistan Muslim League‚ Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan one each.
Unlike its predecessors, PML-N has secured majority contrary to pre-poll projections and is going to be in a more comfortable position than the outgoing Pakistan Peoples Party-led government, which had to deal with diverse, and demanding, coalition partners.
Speaker Dr. Fahmida Mirza adjourned the house to meet again on Monday at 11 a.m.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief, Nawaz Sharif also arrived at the assembly after a period of 14 years and since he was ousted in a military coup by General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. The members greeted Sharif with loud desk-thumping and standing ovation as he entered the assembly.
Special cards had been issued to high-level civil and military officials, diplomats, and important personalities to witness the maiden session of National Assembly. The National Assembly hall has been refurbished for the newly elected members of Lower House. The MNAs elect have been allotted seats as per Urdu alphabetical order. Parliamentary leaders have been allotted seats in front rows.
PML-N nominates Nawaz for PM
A meeting of the Pakistan Muslim League-N parliamentary party nominated Nawaz Sharif for the position of prime minister.
The meeting was chaired by Nawaz Sharif and attended by members-elect of the National Assembly of the party. Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan presented the resolution for Nawaz Sharif's nomination that was unanimously adopted.
Addressing the meeting, Mian Nawaz Sharif said that the new government would be facing a crisis-like situation and stringent measures would have to be taken to meet the challenges.
The PML-N chief told the parliamentary party that those who had vandalized the national wealth had to be held accountable, adding that PML-N lawmakers had a huge responsibility on their shoulders.
The meeting also deliberated on nominations for the positions of speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly. Over 150 members of the party were present during the meeting held in Islamabad.
PML-N leaders said they would be working with the opposition to take on the various problems confronting the country."We will closely coordinate with the opposition parties to tackle the enormous problems facing our country," senior PML-N figure and newly elected MP Ahsan Iqbal told reporters.
Nawaz Sharif says PML-N to address the country's problems The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Chief Nawaz Sharif on Saturday before starting of the assembly session has said that his party will have to come up to national aspirations and safeguard national interests.
The PML-N chief said that today the country is facing daunting challenges like instable economy‚ poverty‚ unemployment‚ load-shedding and terrorism but expressed his resolve to address them squarely.
He thanks the nation for playing pivotal role on May 11 in transition of power by peaceful and democratic manner. Sharif said that the nation wanted positive change and his party will bring positive changes across the country.
The PML-N chief said if his party had not been given clear mandate‚ he would have preferred to sit outside the government than making compromises. He said instead of spreading begging bowl before others‚ we will have to make the country stand on its own feet.
He said that corruption will not be tolerated and directed PML-N members-elect to check corruption. Nawaz Sharif underlined the need for doing clean politics instead of making compromises over principles.
MQM announces to contest speaker, deputy speaker elections: The Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) on Saturday announced to run for the slot of speaker and deputy speaker of national assembly, urging political and religious parties from the opposition to support MQM's candidates.
The statement, which came from the Rabita Committee of MQM, has also dispelled the impression being given in certain media reports that talks were underway between PML-N and MQM for joining the federal government in order to deprive PPP from its old partner and send it into isolation.
According to statement, MQM has decided to sit on opposition benches both in the centre and Sindh province as "this time it wants to strengthen democracy and democratic institutions and play a role for the well being of people while remaining in the opposition".
MQM said different political parties are contacting it for the nomination of collective opposition leader in National Assembly.
"MQM, which is a pro-democracy party, believes in talks and negotiations and thanks all those seeking its support but this time MQM has decided to contest the elections for speaker and deputy speaker of national assembly", the statement reads.
MQM has urged all political parties to make history by supporting MQM's candidate in the forthcoming elections for the slots in the vast national interest.
Source: The Frontier Post