LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf won the slot of Punjab Assembly speaker on Friday as its candidate Sibtain Khan got 185 votes whereas PMLN candidate Malik Saiful Malook Khokhar 175.
A total of 364 MPAs participated in the polling for the speaker’s slot and four votes, three from the opposition and one from the government, were declared invalid. The session was chaired by Panel Chairman Wasim Khan Badozai.
The PMLN has rejected the results and decided to challenge the election process in court. Tension remained high during the polling. The ballot paper book was snatched by PMLN MPAs and ballot papers were torn.
Sibtain later took the oath that was administered by Badozai. In his speech, Sibtain expressed gratitude to those who voted for him as well as PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi for nominating him. He vowed to run the House in accordance with the law and Constitution and said: “We all must exhibit tolerance for straightening democracy.”
Pervaiz Elahi, in his speech, congratulated Sibtain for his victory.
He urged the opposition to show patience and accept the defeat with dignity and stated that it would keep receiving more similar surprises. During the polling process, the power supply remained suspended for few minutes.
Talking to media outside the Punjab Assembly, PMLN MPA Rana Mashhood said the poll process was rigged and would be challenged in court. He said already an unconstitutional precedent had been seen in the election of CM and added that the PTI was the party which disrespected the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
It is noteworthy that Sibtain Khan, PTI MPA from Mianwali, has been elected as MPA for four terms, i.e. 1990, 2002, 2013 and 2018. He served as provincial minister in 1990-93, 2002-2007 and 2018-2022. Later, he also served as opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly after which he got elected as speaker.