1st session of Pakistan's newly-elected Parliament begins; Imran Khan amongst 329 contributors raise oath
The inaugural session of Pakistan’s newly-elected Parliament commenced on Monday with the outgoing speaker administered oath to 331 members within the framework of the process of transition and handing over powers to the new government.
The 15th Parliament’s session was presided over by Ayaz Sadiq, speaker of the previous National Assembly and who also administered oath to the new leaders in the 342-member lower house. The new members signed their presence in a register. The maiden session started with the National Anthem, preceded by recitation from the Holy Quran.
Nineteen days after Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party secured majority as the single largest in the general elections, President Mamnoon Hussain had summoned the maiden session of the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, at 10 AM in parliament house today.
To be Prime Minister and PTI chairman Imran Khan along with other notable leaders including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and former president Asif Ali Zardari were present in the assembly for the oath-taking ceremony.
The speaker in an announcement said that elections of the new speaker and his deputy will be held on August 15. The PTI has nominated Asad Qaisar for the speaker, whereas opposition has named Syed Khurshid Shah of the PPP as the joint opposition candidate for the post.
The PTI came out as the single largest party with 116 seats in July 25 elections and its number mounted to 125 after nine independent members joined it and final tally reached 158 after it was allotted 28 out of 60 seats reserved for women and 10 seats reserved for minorities.
Although PTI Party sources said that the list of the Cabinet has not been finalized yet there is a general consensus that Shah Mahmood Qureshi will be the new Foreign Minister, Pervez Khattak the new Interior Minister and Asad Umar is expected to get the post of Finance Minister.
Imran Khan is expected to appoint prominent businessman Abdul Razzak Dawood as financial advisor, Dawood had already served in the Cabinet of former military dictator Pervez Musharraf.
The election of the Prime Minister will be organised after the election of the new Speaker who will supervise the election of the PM. The PTI has nominated its supreme Imran Khan for the top post of Prime Minister and he is scheduled to take oath on August 18 at the President House. The combined opposition has nominated Shehbaz Sharif against Khan.