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Swearing-in Ceremony and Political Dynamics Unfold as Punjab Assembly Convenes

Islamabad: protests and delays, newly elected representatives were sworn into the Punjab Assembly on Friday following a summons by Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) partially notified lawmakers on seats reserved for women and minorities, signaling the formal commencement of legislative activities in the province.

The Punjab Assembly, comprising 371 seats, including 297 general seats and 74 reserved seats, convened with the swearing-in ceremony for the elected representatives. Notably, the session began after a delay of more than two hours, with a pause for Friday prayers.

Outgoing Punjab Assembly speaker Sibtain Khan administered the oath to the MPAs-elect, extending congratulations and well-wishes for their new roles. Prominent figures such as PML-N’s nominee for Punjab chief minister Maryam Nawaz, former federal minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, and PTI leader Aamir Dogar were present during the ceremony.

In a procedural announcement, the speaker’s secretary disclosed that elections for the speaker and deputy speaker would occur via a secret ballot the following day, as per the Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab, 1997. The nomination papers for these positions were required to be submitted before 5 pm.

During the session, protests and face-offs between PTI and PML-N members were reported outside the assembly, highlighting the charged political atmosphere surrounding the event. Despite the tensions, Speaker Sibtain Khan assured that all newly elected lawmakers would be allowed to attend the session.

In terms of party dynamics, the PML-N has nominated Maryam for chief minister, while the PTI has fielded Mian Aslam Iqbal. However, Iqbal’s absence due to legal proceedings in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa added complexity to the unfolding political scene.

The PML-N emerged with a majority in the Punjab Assembly, securing 158 seats with the support of independents and other parties. Meanwhile, the PPP, PML-Q, and other smaller parties also secured representation in the legislative body.

The session marked the formal beginning of legislative proceedings in Punjab, setting the stage for future policy debates and lawmaking endeavors in the province. As political dynamics continue to evolve, observers anticipate significant developments in Punjab’s governance and policymaking landscape.

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