Sun, 14 April 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Race for PM

Shehbaz Sharif poised to become Pakistan's 24th premier

Update : 03 Mar 2024, 12:23

 Pakistan is set to get its 24th prime minister today (Sunday) as the National Assembly votes for the coveted position with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif poised to take the PM's seat for the second time. 

The NA session will begin at 11am today and the voting will take place through the division method. The session will be chaired by National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq. 

Ahead of the elections today, bells will ring in the National Assembly for five minutes. Its purpose is to gather all the members into the assembly.

After five minutes, all the doors of the House will be locked and no one will be allowed to come inside or leave before the election of the leader of the House. 

Following this, the NA speaker will read out the names of the candidates vying for the PM slot and then will announce the formal commencement of the election.

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As per the division method, the speaker will allocate the right lobby for one nominee and the left lobby for the other. The lawmakers will then go to their preferred lobby to vote for their candidate. 

The MNAs will cast their votes at the door of the lobby and once they vote they will exit the hall and won't be able to come back to the House. 

The speaker will announce the completion of the voting process and will summon the voting list. After this, the bells will be rung for two minutes for members to return to the House from the lobby. 

After this, Speaker Sadiq will announce the election results of the Leader of the House.

Candidates

Shehbaz, who is also the joint candidate of seven allied parties, is a clear favourite in the one-on-one contest against Omar Ayub Khan, who is the candidate of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) — the party which was joined by winning Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) affiliated candidates after the February 8 elections. 

NA Speaker Sadiq accepted the nomination papers of both candidates. To win the premiership, either candidate will have to bag 169 votes in the 336-strong assembly. 

According to The News, PML-N Shehbaz, who is expected to become the prime minister for the second time, is likely to receive over 200 votes as he has the backing of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Pakistan Muslim League-Zia (PML-Z), Istehkam-e-Pakistan (IPP) and National Party (NP) apart from his own party which combine to form a strength of 205 members.

Shehbaz earlier remained in the Prime Minister’s Office from April 11, 2022, to August 14, 2023 (one year and 125 days). He was elected as prime minister of Pakistan after a successful no-confidence motion against the then-prime minister and PTI founder Imran Khan. 

Meanwhile, the SIC candidate, Omar, is expected to get around 92 votes. He would get the support of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party's Mahmood Khan Achakzai, who has also been nominated by the SIC as its candidate for the president’s slot.

So far, 304 lawmakers have taken oath while the notification of 23 reserved seats for women and minorities has been withheld by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The nomination papers of Shehbaz Sharif were proposed by MNAs Syed Khursheed Shah, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Tariq Bashir Cheema, Rana Tanvir Hussain, Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Sardar Muhammad Yousaf Zaman, Attaullah Tarar, Abdul Aleem Khan and seconded by MNAs Romina Khursheed Alam, Shaza Fatima Khawaja, Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari, Ahsan Iqbal, Kessoo Mal Kheel Das, Anusha Rahman Khan, Hanif Abbasi and Jamal Shah Kakar.

Meanwhile, the nomination papers of Omar were proposed by MNAs Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, Asad Qaiser, Riaz Khan Fatyana, Umair Khan Niazi and seconded by MNAs Mohammad Sanaullah Khan Mastikhel, Ali Khan Jadoon, Mujahid Ali and Malik Mohammad Amir Dogar.

Omar had raised objections with Speaker Sadiq over the acceptance of Shehbaz's nomination papers, saying that he was "gifted the seat as a result of manipulation in Form 47". 

He said that the PM's nominee was ineligible to become the premier, however, his objections were rejected.

Sources have revealed that the SIC parliamentarians are preparing to lodge another strong protest in the House and they have planned to bring the portraits of the PTI founder to the National Assembly hall. 

On the other hand, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) will boycott the polls. Geo News 

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