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Pakistan: Punjab Assembly speaker's elections to be held today

Lahore: The election for Punjab Assembly speaker will be held on Friday at 4 pm through a secret ballot. Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) have jointly fielded Sibtain Khan whereas Malik Saif ul Malook Khokhar of PMLN is the opposition's candidate, local media reported.
Amid the controversy surrounding the elections in the country's most populous province, Pakistan's Punjab Assembly is all set to hold polls for the Speaker's post where former Prime Minister Imran Khan's PTI and PM Shehbaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) will once again come face-to-face. The ruling coalition has a strength of 186 MPAs whereas PMLN, PPP and a few independents constitute a strength of 178.
Voting for the speaker's post will be held through a secret ballot tomorrow (Friday) at 4 pm. "Sibtain Khan will be elected as Punjab Assembly Speaker tomorrow," Basharat said in a tweet from his official handle.
ARY News reported that in the secret ballot, a very tough contest is expected and an upset is also possible.
The scrutiny process of the candidates has been completed.
PML-N candidate Malik Saiful Malook Khokhar and PTI candidate Sibtain Khan have submitted the Nomination papers.
Though the nominations have been submitted and have been approved, still as per regulations, the candidate could withdraw the nomination before 4:00 pm Friday. The Punjab Assembly speaker's election will be held through a secret ballot at 4:00 pm, reported ARY News.
PTI finalised Sibtain Khan for the Punjab Assembly Speaker's slot, whereas, two names were shortlisted for the position of deputy speaker including Wasiq Qayyum and Taimur Masood.
No confidence against Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Mir Dost Muhammad Mazari who annulled 10 votes during the polls, a move which was deemed to be "unconstitutional."
According to details, Parliamentary Leader in the Provincial Assembly Raja Bisharat submitted a no-confidence motion against Dost Muhammad Mazari, which was passed by the house's majority.
Following this, Waseem Khan - a member Panel Chair who was presiding over the session - adjourned it till tomorrow. The voting on the motion of no confidence against the Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker will be held on Friday.
Meanwhile, PML-N-led ruling coalition now smells like a rat amid political chaos in the country and is apprehensive of early elections.
Upset with some "disturbing signals" it is getting from relevant quarters, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif is currently reviewing the situation with the possibility of returning to the party's tough stance vis-a-vis the policy of certain institutions, reported The News International.
It is also under consideration that Nawaz Sharif should restart his public interaction, both with the media and the public. "We did not want the government and were eager to go for fresh elections in May this year but were told to continue in the best interest of the country," a source said.
The PML-N-led ruling coalition took a tough and unpopular decision to save Pakistan from default. But now things are being pushed for fresh elections to the complete disadvantage of the ruling parties, particularly the PML-N, reported The News International.
This comes amid the Punjab CM fiasco, as the top court declared Mazari's ruling in the Punjab chief minister's election "illegal" and ruled that PTI's candidate Pervez Elahi will be the new CM of the province.
The court then declared Elahi as the duly elected chief minister of Punjab as it ruled that he had obtained 186 votes compared to Hamza Shehbaz's 179.
PTI-backed Pervez Elahi on Wednesday took oath as the Chief Minister of Punjab after the Supreme Court announced a verdict against the ruling of Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammed Mazari. (ANI)

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