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Shehbaz poised for a walkover as NA elects new PM today


ISLAMABAD:
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi will face off each other in the election for the new prime minister in the National Assembly on Monday (today).The election for the prime minister or the leader of the house was triggered after the passage of the no-confidence motion moved by the opposition against then prime minister Imran Khan. The motion was passed after 174 National Assembly members voted in favour.

The joint opposition fielded Shehbaz as its candidate for the post of the prime minister, while the PTI decided to field Qureshi, who served the country’s foreign minister in Imran Khan’s cabinet. The winning candidate must get at least 172 votes in the 342-strong house.

Given the numbers shown by the joint opposition during the no-confidence motion indicated that Shehbaz, who was the opposition leader in the lower house of parliament, is likely to be elected as the next prime minister of the country.

Read: PTI dissidents ready to contest polls on PML-N ticket

The nomination papers for the post of the prime minister were received and scrutinised by the National Assembly Secretariat on Sunday. Both Shehbaz and Qureshi filed their papers along with their respective party members of the National Assembly.

The deadline for submission of the nomination papers was 2pm Sunday. The scrutiny process of the nomination papers began at 3pm. Later, papers of both the candidates were found in order and accepted, which means that there will be a one-on-one contest in the lower house of parliament.

During the scrutiny process, Dr Babar Awan, former adviser to prime minister on parliamentary affairs, raised objections over the nomination papers of Shehbaz. However, the objections were rejected by the National Assembly Secretariat.

PTI leader Ali Muhammad Khan, who served as the state minister in Imran Khan’s cabinet, said that the party raised objection that Shehbaz was facing cases on corruption charges and that he was out on bail in various cases.

Former information minister Fawad Chaudhry also mentioned the cases against Shehbaz in a tweet, saying that after acceptance of his papers, the first order from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was that a team of lawyers would not appear in cases against the PML-N president in courts on Monday (today).

Read More: IHC to hear emergency petition to prevent PM from de-notifying COAS

For the election, the National Assembly will meet at 2pm Monday (today). At the onset of the election, the chair will read out the names of the candidates. Then, the bells will be rung for five minutes to enable members not present in the chamber to be present.

Immediately after the bells stop ringing, all the entrances to the lobby will be locked till the voting is concluded. The chair will ask the members to pass in single file through the entrance where tellers shall be posted to record the votes.

On reaching the desk of the tellers, each member shall, in turn, call out the division number allotted to him under the rules and record his vote. When the speaker finds that all the members who wished to vote, have recorded their votes, he shall announce that the voting has concluded.

Thereupon, the secretary shall count the recorded votes and present the result of the count to the chair, who will then order for the ringing of bells for two minutes to enable the members to return to the chamber. The chair will then announce the result in the assembly.

(WITH INPUT FROM AGENCIES)

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