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116 Newly-elected members of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly took oath amid ruckus

PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD: About 116 Newly-elected members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly took their oaths on Wednesday, albeit after a delay of over an hour due to disruptions caused by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers.

The session faced a delay as elected lawmakers encountered difficulty entering the assembly hall amidst multiple PTI workers attempting to enter the floor. The situation escalated when a “lota” and a shoe were thrown at Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) MPA Sobia Shahid.

Speaker Mushtaq Ghani administered the oath to the newly elected lawmakers.

A total of 113 newly-elected members, representing general seats, were sworn in during today’s session. However, out of the total 145 seats in the KP Assembly, 30 reserved seats for women and minorities remain unoccupied as the matter is under consideration by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Furthermore, elections on two general seats were postponed due to the demise of candidates in their respective constituencies.

Following the oath-taking ceremony, Speaker Ghani announced that elections for the positions of speaker and deputy speaker would take place tomorrow (February 29).

Prospective candidates for these positions have until 5 pm today to submit their nomination papers, with the option to withdraw their candidacy by midnight, as per the speaker’s announcement.

“Polling for the speaker and deputy speaker election will be conducted tomorrow at 10 am,” Speaker Ghani declared.

Initially, PTI founder Imran Khan had nominated Aqibullah Khan as the candidate for the KP speaker. However, today, PTI leader Omar Ayub Khan revealed that Imran Khan had instead nominated Babar Salim Swati for the position.

In anticipation of potential protests by the Awami National Party (ANP) outside the legislature, approximately 350 policemen have been deployed around the KP Assembly building. Additionally, internet services in the vicinity of the assembly have been suspended.

With the swearing-in of its members, the KP Assembly becomes the third provincial legislature to convene following the general elections held on February 8. Last week, the assemblies in Punjab and Sindh were inaugurated.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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