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Election for speaker-deputy speaker of NA to begin today

15 August, 2018

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Polling for the election of the speaker and deputy speaker of National Assembly begin,in what is going to be a one-to-one contest between candidates pitched by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and a fragile opposition alliance.

Newly elected MNAs will vote for their preferred candidates through secret ballot in an election that is being overseen by outgoing speaker Ayaz Sadiq of the PML-N.

The election was expected to commence at 10am; however, the session faced a delay of more than half-an-hour due to the late arrival of MNAs.

Lawmakers belonging to various political parties, including prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan, are present in the Lower House of Parliament for the election.

Former speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Asad Qaiser (of PTI) is contesting for the post of NA speaker against PPP stalwart Syed Khursheed Shah. Both of them had submitted their nomination papers to the NA secretary on Tuesday.

In the first round, the speaker will be chosen in an NA session chaired by Ayaz Sadiq, the current speaker of NA.The polling will begin once the NA is in session and all votes will be handed out by the NA secretary. No one will be allowed to take a photograph of their vote. Each nominee will choose two polling agents for themselves. Once all the votes have been cast, the speaker will announce that the polling process has concluded. Votes will then be counted in the presence of both candidates and their polling agents. Once the results are compiled, the speaker will proceed to announce the results. The outgoing speaker will then take the incoming speaker's oath. The same process will be repeated to bring in the new deputy speaker. The new speaker will supervise the election of the deputy speaker.

The NA has a total of 342 seats, including 272 general seats, 60 reserved for women and 10 for minorities. As polls in Rawalpindi (NA-60) had been postponed following the disqualification of PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi and elections in Faisalabad (NA-103) had been put off after the death of a candidate, the elections were held in 270 NA constituencies on July 25.

The results of only 339 NA constituencies, including the reserved seats, have so far been announced while the notification of PPP candidate Fida Dero’s victory from NA-215 (Sanghar), which had been withheld by the Election Commission of Pakistan, had not been issued till Monday evening despite the apex court order.

As many as 326 members had taken oath on Monday as Mehboob Sultan and Amir Sultan, the two brothers and PTI MNAs from Jhang, had not turned up at the inaugural session due to the demise of their mother.

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