The National Assembly is electing a new prime minister today (Tuesday), after the Supreme Court ousted Nawaz Sharif following an investigation into corruption allegations against his family.
Six candidates, including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, are in the fray to contest the election at the specially convened session of the house at 3:00 pm.
Other candidates include PPP’s Syed Khurshid Shah and Syed Naveed Qamar, PTI’s Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, Jamaat-e-Islami’s Sahibzada Tariqullah and MQM’s Kishwar Zahra.
However, there are technically three candidates against Abbasi – Naveed Qamar, Sheikh Rashid and Sahibzada Tariqullah – as MQM decided to support Abbasi and Khurshid Shah requested for withdrawal of his nomination papers against his colleague Naveed Qamar in last minutes.
PML-N and its allies enjoy comfortable majority in National Assembly to get their candidate elected, as the opposition has failed to field its joint candidate.
Due to disunity among the opposition ranks, Khaqan Abbasi is going to secure an easy win in today’s election with 188 members in the house.
Abbasi is going to be interim Prime Minister for 45 days.
4:20 pm – The voting process formally got underway.
Party position in the house: PPP 47, PTI 33, MQM 24, JIU-F 13, PML-F 5, JI 4
4:15 pm – The Speaker read out names of the validly nominated candidates – Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (PML-N), Sheikh Rashid Ahmed (AML), Syed Naveed Qamar (PPP), Sahibzada Tariqullah (JI) and Kishwar Zahra (MQM).
4:10 pm – The voting process got underway for the election of prime minister.
4:05 pm – The Speaker read out rules and regulations about Prime Minister’s election.
3:50 pm – The National Assembly session for PM’s election began 45 minutes late. Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq is presiding over the session.
3:15 pm – The Awami National Party (ANP) has decided not to take part in the voting process. The ANP has two MNAs in the house.
3:00 pm – Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) of Aftab Ahmed Sherpao has decided to vote for PPP candidate.
2:50 pm – PPP’s Syed Khursheed Shah has filed an application seeking withdrawal of his nomination papers, stating that Naved Qamar is the party candidates for PM’s election.
2:40 pm – Ahead of the session, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq is holding a meeting with parliamentary leaders of all political parties on the voting process for the election of PM.
The election process in the house will begin without any debate as the session will start with Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in chair.
The Speaker will read out names of the validly nominated candidates and ask members who wish to vote in favour of their candidates to pass in single file through the designated entrance.
After a member recorded his vote, he would not return to the Chamber till completion of the voting process.
When all the members have recorded their votes, bells would be rung for two minutes to allow members to return to the Chamber.
The Speaker would then announce the result to the Assembly.
A candidate will have to secure minimum 172 votes in the house of 342 to win the election. – Samaa
Story first published: 1st August 2017