PESHAWAR - Bagging a thumping majority, PTI’s former higher education minister Mushtaq Ghani was elected Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly speaker while Mahmood Jan, a candidate of the same party, was elected deputy speaker on Wednesday.

The session was chaired by presiding officer Sardar Aurangzeb Nalota who also administered oath to the newly-elected speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani. Although the polling started 50 minutes late, several members failed to arrive by that time to cast their votes. Nighat Orazaki of Pakistan People’s Party could not poll her vote as she reached the house after the announcement of her name by the presiding officer. Orakzai chanted slogans on the assembly floor for not allowing her to cast vote.

Later, she refused to cast vote for the deputy speaker’s contest. However, on PML-N member Sobia Khattak’s repeated requests, the PPP lawmaker cast her vote.

The opposition members, on this occasion, chanted slogans ‘Vot Ko Izzat Do’ (give respect to vote).

Hidayat-ur-Rahman of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal from PK-1 was the first member to cast his vote. Later, other members cast their votes as per the provincial assembly constituency number.

Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani secured 81 votes while his rival Laiq Muhammad secured 27 votes in the run for speakership. For the slot of deputy speaker, Mahmood Jan secured 78 votes while his rival Jamshed Mohmand of Pakistan Muslim League-N secured 30 votes. Later, newly-elected speaker Mushtaq Ghani administered oath to Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan.

Election for the slot of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister would be held at 11am on Thursday (today) when Mahmood Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf would face MMA’s Mian Nisar Gul, a candidate of the joint opposition in the assembly.

In the house of 124, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf secured 74 seats followed by MMA’s 13 seats, Awami National Party’s eight, Pakistan Muslim League-N’s six and Pakistan People’s Party’s five seats.

Polling for two seats of Peshawar had been postponed due to martyrdom of ANP candidate Haroon Bilour and PTI’s Ikramullah Gandapur while on PK-23, Shangla, re-election would be held due to less number of votes cast by females in that constituency.

Tight security arrangements were made on this occasion and a heavy contingent of police was deployed in the surroundings of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. Despite strict checking at the entrance, supporters of various political parties entered the assembly hall without any pass.

The presence of a large number of supporters hailing from different political parties annoyed journalists as their work was hampered. Journalists’ community boycotted the assembly proceedings in protest.

BA ELECTS SPEAKER,

DEPUTY TODAY

Agencies add: The elections of new speaker and deputy speaker of Balochistan Assembly will be held today (Thursday) at four in the afternoon.

According to the Assembly Secretariat, interesting candidates can file their nomination papers till 11 am Thursday.