ISLAMABAD, (SANA): As many as 301 newly elected members of the National Assembly have taken oath and with this the 14th National Assembly in the country has come into being following general elections.
The inaugural session of the house chaired by the outgoing Speaker Dr. Fehmida Mirza was held at the parliament house here on Saturday, Dr Fehmida Mirza administered oath to the new members. There were 314 eligible members to take oath out of 342 members’ house and 301 members of the National Assembly took oath while 13 members could not reach to take oath.
Earlier, national anthem was played at the outset of the proceedings and the Speaker welcomed the members and congratulated them on their successful election.
The members then signed the Roll of the House to become formal Members of the National Assembly. The members signed the roll in alphabetical order beginning with Malik Ibrar Ahmad of PML-N from NA-54 Rawalpindi.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, who is sure to become the Prime Minister, was amongst those who took oath as Member of the National Assembly on Saturday.
The nomination papers for the offices of speaker and deputy speaker will be submitted till 12 noon on June 2.
On June 3, the process to elect the speaker will take place after which Dr Fehmida Mirza will take oath from the new speaker. After the transfer of authority to the newly elected speaker, selection of deputy speaker will take place. Both the elections will be done through secret ballot.
Nomination papers for the position of chief minister (leader of the house) will be submitted till 2 pm on June 4. The new prime minister will be elected by dividing the house on June 5.The session was later adjourned and will resume at 11 am on Monday.
In a unique turn of events in the history of the country a smooth transition of power has taken place for the first time by a civilian government.
The 13th National Assembly (2008-13) had completed its five years term that too for the first time in the democratic history of the country.
President of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Nawaz Sharif set foot in the National Assembly after 14 years.
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 security staff of the Parliament was present at the gates of the parliament to receive the newly elected MNAs after the identification, while elaborate security measures had been ensured within the building of Parliament.
The National Assembly hall was refurbished for the newly elected members of Lower House. The MNAs elect were allotted seats as per Urdu alphabetical order. Parliamentary leaders were allotted seats in front rows.
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.
The PML-N has secured absolute majority in the house of 342. So far, the Election Commission has announced results of 322 seats and the strength of PML-N currently stands at 176. Its tally would improve to 185 when the Election Commission notifies results of nine candidates of the party against reserved seats for women.
The National People’s Party, which secured three seats in the National Assembly, has already announced its merger with PML-N and with this in view the strength of the party would stand at 188 in the house.
People’s 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-Q (PML-Q) two and ANP, BNP, Qaumi Watan Party (Sherpao), PML-Z, NP, Awami Muslim League, All Pakistan Muslim League, Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan one each. There are also eight independents in the house.
Result of NA-269 is still awaited; results of NA 103 and NA-237 are withheld, electoral process in NA-83 and NA-254 was terminated, election in NA-38 was postponed while there will be repolling at some polling stations of NA-46 and NA-229.
The session as well as the oath-taking ceremony was marred by a two-hour delay after the scheduled time of 10 am.
Meanwhile, apart from Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, prominent personalities in the new assembly include Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Imran Khan, Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Dr. Farooq Sattar, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, former Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and Pir Sadruddin Rashdi.
It is pertinent to note that Chief of Tahrik-e-Insaf who was injured in an incident during election campaign did not take oath on Saturday as member of the Assembly because doctors have advised him to take rest.
Similarly, Chief of Jamiat Ulema Islam Fazl Maulana Fazlur Rehman also did not take oath in the inaugural session.
It is for the first time that Tahrik-e-Insaf has got thirty-five seats in the National Assembly and has come in a position to play an active role as opposition party.
The prominent members of the previous assembly who could not return to the House include former Prime Ministers Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Raja Pervez Ashraf, former Ministers Qamar Zaman Kaira, Ch. Ahmad Mukhtar, Nazar Muhammad Gondal, Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan and Nadeem Afzal Gondal.