Updated February 29th, 2024 at 21:47 IST

Imran Khan's PTI-Backed Independent Candidates Take Oath as Speaker, Deputy Speaker in KPK Assembly

Jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party-backed independent candidates Babar Saleem Swati and Suriya Bibi on Thursday took the oath as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly.

Imran Khan's PTI-backed independent candidates take oath as Speaker, Deputy Speaker in Pak's KPK assembly. | Image:AP
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Jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party-backed independent candidates Babar Saleem Swati and Suriya Bibi on Thursday took the oath as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly. Swati, 62, who was elected from PK-37 Mansehra-II constituency in the provincial polls on February 8, secured 89 votes against 17 obtained by the Pakistan Peoples Party candidate Ehsan Ullah Khan.

Similarly, Suriya Bibi, 40, who won from the Chitral's PK-1 seat, secured 87 votes in the elections and won the slot of Deputy Speaker. Suriya is the first woman elected on a general seat in Chitral's history after securing 18,914 votes against the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl 's (JUI-F) Shakeel Ahmed, who could get only 10,533 votes. Outgoing speaker Mushtaq Ghani administered the oath of the new custodian of the house.

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The Chief Minister designate Ali Amin Gandapur will take oath of the leader of the house in the KPK assembly on Friday. The oath-taking ceremony of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker came a day after the newly elected lawmakers of the KPK assembly were sworn in on Wednesday. The KPK assembly has a total strength of 145 members, including 10 women and four minorities elected against reserved seats.

The allocation of the reserved seats has not been notified as the matter is currently being heard by the Election Commission of Pakistan. In the February 8 elections, Khan’s PTI-backed independent candidates obtained a clear-cut majority in the provincial legislature with 90 seats to form the third consecutive solo government in the restive province.

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The PTI-backed independent candidates have joined the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) to receive its share of reserved seats for women and minorities in the national and provincial assemblies. The SIC is an alliance of Islamic political and religious parties in the Muslim-majority country, which represents followers of the school of Sunni Islam. 

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Published February 29th, 2024 at 21:47 IST