Ex-PM Nawaz’s daughter Maryam enters parliamentary politics as newly-elected members of Punjab assembly take oath - GulfToday

Ex-PM Nawaz’s daughter Maryam enters parliamentary politics as newly-elected members of Punjab assembly take oath


Maryam Nawaz (R) and other members take oath at the provincial legislature of Punjab Assembly in Lahore on Friday. X photo

Tariq Butt, Correspondent / NNI News 

The daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, entered the parliamentary politics as the newly-elected members of the Punjab Assembly (MPAs), who won the Feb.8 election, took oath in a special session of the provincial legislature on Friday.

The Punjab Assembly is the first house to convene its inaugural session, out of five assemblies that went to the election on Feb.8. The session was scheduled to start at 10am, however, it faced a delay of more than two hours.

It was attended by 313 lawmakers out of which 215 belonged to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and its allied parties while 98 members of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) that mainly comprises the lawmakers of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) also took oath.

PunjabAssemblyFeb23 Newly elected members take oath at the provincial legislature of Punjab Assembly in Lahore. AFP

The assembly secretary said that the speaker and deputy speaker will be elected on Saturday via secret ballot. Nomination papers for the positions of the speaker and deputy speaker were filed on Friday.

The PML-N has nominated Maryam Nawaz as its candidate for the chief ministership. If elected, then Maryam would become the first-ever female chief minister in the country’s history.

At the outset of the delayed session, members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and SIC chanted slogans against each other.

Outgoing Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan presided over the session. He told reporters that the elected MPAs should not be prevented from attending the assembly session. He admitted that some members got a level playing field while others were deprived of it.

Maryam-oathday Maryam Nawaz (C) leaves with her aids after attending inauguration session of the provincial assembly in Lahore. AP

The members of PML-N and SIC exchanged barbs with the latter saying that their members were not being allowed to enter the assembly. The SIC had around 97 members inside the assembly while PML-N had 215 members. SIC members tried to talk to the assembly speaker, however, they were told that they would be heard once they took the oath.

PML-N leader Uzma Bokhari said that none of the members can speak on the floor unless they take the oath.

“The decision on some reserved seats is still not taken due to their ineligibility. We currently have a two-thirds majority after forming an alliance,” she said and added that her party respects the decision and wants to work with them.

The PTI claimed that the Punjab police were stopping its elected members from participating in the session and from taking the oath.

Meanwhile, with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is all set to form the next government in the Sindh province for record fourth consecutive time, Syed Murad Ali Shah has been picked to be the party’s nominee for provincial chief minister.

Addressing a press conference following PPP’s Sindh parliamentary committee meeting, party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that Shah would be the party’s candidate for Sindh chief minister.

“We will request him to take the responsibility of this post again. But this time we have to beat our own record,” the former foreign minister noted.

Shah was first elected Sindh chief minister in 2016. After the 2018 general election, he was nominated for the coveted office by his party.

Bilawal also announced that Naveed Anthony would be the candidate for Sindh Assembly deputy speaker. He further said that Awais Shah would be the candidate for Sindh Assembly speaker.

Earlier, it was reported that the recommendations of a financial budget of Rs1.5 billion for the salaries of the newly elected members of the National Assembly (MNAs) are ready. The National Assembly’s Cash and Accounts Branch has prepared its proposal. It envisages Rs411.1 million in salaries, Rs130 million in allowances, and Rs891 million in operational expenses, officials said.

In terms of perks, 25 business class air tickets, travel vouchers worth Rs300,000, blue passports, as well as free air and railway journey facilities will be available to the National Assembly members.

They will receive thousands of rupees daily for different allowances including conveyance, special, additional, household and travelling.

Each MNA will receive Rs150,000 as basic salary and Rs38,000 as additional allowances. Every National Assembly member will be given Rs10,000 in the form of telephone allowance. Besides, each of them will be handed over Rs8,000 as office allowance. A sum of Rs15,000 in the form of ad hoc relief and Rs5,000 as additional allowance will also be included in each MNA’s salary.

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