LAHORE  -  Out of the total sanctioned strength of 371, as many as 358 newly elected members of Punjab Assembly are expected to take oath of their membership on Wednesday (tomorrow).

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Election could not take place on two provincial seats while 11 members-elect of the new Punjab Assembly who were also elected on national seats have opted to take a seat in the National Assembly. The remaining 13 vacant seats will be filled through a by-election which will be held in October this year.

Though the new Assembly will be shot of 13 members, the new Punjab Chief Minister is most likely to be elected in the first count. Under the rules, a candidate for the office of chief minister must secure at least 186 votes in the first count in a House of 371. The PTI claims to have the support of this much number of legislators-elect at the moment. In the second count, however, a candidate will be required to seek simple majority of the members present in the House to qualify for election to the office of the chief minister. This rule does not apply on the election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker who will be elected by simply majority of the members present in the House. 

The 17th Punjab Assembly will remain in session for three days-from 15th August to 17th. On the first of the inaugural session, the newly elected members will take oath of their office while the election for the office of Speaker and the Deputy Speaker will be held on August 16 (Thursday). The Assembly will elect the new chief minister on August 17 (Friday).

Also, 110 old members of the previous Assembly re-elected on the general seats will take oath of their office on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal on Monday chaired a meeting to review security arrangements for the upcoming Assembly session. Secretary Assembly Mohammad Khan Bhatti and senior police officers attended the meeting. The Speaker directed the police officers to ensure foolproof security for the three-day session.