Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Sardar Sibtain Khan has been elected the Punjab Assembly speaker after the election for the coveted post.
The coveted post fell vacant following the election of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi as the chief minister of the province.
Panel of Chairman Wasim Badozai, who presided over the provincial assembly session, announced that Khan has defeated PML-N’s Saiful Malook Khokhar by bagging 185 votes. Khokhar, who was the joint candidate of PML-N and PPP, secured 175 votes.
“Congratulations Janaab-e-Speaker Sibtain Khan,” PTI leader Raja Basharat said, adding, “Now they will proceed with the no-confidence motion against the deputy speaker.
Congratulations Janaab-e-Speaker @SardarSibtain
Now we will proceed with the No Confidence Motion against Deputy Speaker.
— Muhammad Basharat Raja (@RajaBasharatLAW) July 29, 2022
Earlier, the polling process was stopped after PML-N lawmakers raised objections on the counterfoil of the ballots and threw them towards the opposition benches.
The four ballot papers have also reportedly gone missing with the Panel of Chairman Wasim Badozai summoned security personnel inside the house.
The PML-N members have also surrounded the Punjab Assembly secretary and other staff conducting the election.
On Thursday, the treasury lawmakers in the provincial assembly unanimously passed a resolution proposing a contest for the vacant seat of the Punjab Assembly speaker as well as presented a no-trust motion against Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari today.
The PTI has claimed that it has 186 votes in favour of its nominee Sibtain Khan, whereas the PML-N is hopeful for victory despite having 178 confirmed votes for its candidate Saiful Malook Khokhar.
After the Supreme Court struck down Deputy Speaker Mazari’s contentious ruling on Punjab chief minister’s election, the PTI decided to “immediately” bring a no-confidence motion against the deputy speaker.
The PML-N appeared confident and maintained that they would “110 per cent” win the contest.
“Last time we said that Hamza will become chief minister and he did. This time we vow that Saiful Malook will become the speaker”, a PML-N spokesperson said.
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The party’s explanation for their confidence was that the PTI camp had already developed 'cracks' as they were breaking promises with their allies regarding ministerial placements, which has caused reservations among PTI's allies.
According to the PML-N, Zain Qureshi – the son of former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi – was also nominated as the PTI candidate for PA speaker but was removed from the race in favour of Sibtain Khan.
PML-N members maintained that their sources and news about the opposition gave them "110% certainty" of victory.