KARACHI - The newly-elected lawmakers are scheduled to take oath as member Sindh Assembly on May 29 as almost half of the total members are same old faces, who will run the affairs of the province for next five years.

The outgoing Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro will administer the oath in special session of the Sindh Assembly summoned by Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad today on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, after approval of President Zardari, the party has nominated the 84-year old Qaim Ali Shah as chief minister of province for second term consecutively, while Agha Siraj Durrani, close aide of Zardari, has been nominated as Speaker Sindh Assembly. All arrangements have been made by the Assembly secretariat for the first sitting of the Sindh Assembly, which will commence at schedule time of 10am on Wednesday (today).

Out of total strength of 168 members (including 130 general seats and 38 reserved seats for women and minorities), so far 157 members have been notified as members by the Election Commission of Pakistan. Results of remaining 11 provincial assembly seats are withheld due to re-polling on some polling stations in some constituencies as well as stay order issued by the judiciary in petitions filled by the candidates. Meanwhile, in the total notified results of the elections, the PPP has emerged as single majority party in the Sindh Assembly with total strength of 84 MPAs including 63 members elected on general seats, 16 women and 5 non-Muslims elected on reserved seats for women and minorities. The MQM is second majority party with total 48 members including 36 MPAs elected on general seats and 9 women and 3 non-Muslims elected on reserved seats for women and minorities.

The PML-F of Pir Pagara has emerged as third majority party with 10 members including 7 MPAs elected on general seats and two women and one non-Muslims elected on reserved seats for women and minorities.  The PML-N of Nawaz Sharif secured fourth position in the Sindh Assembly with 9 members (including Arbab Rahim of Thar and NPP of Jatoi’s who announced to merge their parties in PML-N, while Shirazis of Thatta who elected as independent joined the PML-N). Nawaz’s party has managed to get its women wing President of Sindh, Sorath Thebo to be elected on one reserved seats for women in Sindh Assembly too. With total of four members’ strength, the PTI of Imran Khan is on sixth position in Sindh Assembly, whose three MPAs are elected on general seats while one MPA Dr Seemi Zia was elected on reserved seats for women. Meanwhile, after the oath of the Sindh Assembly members, the scheduled has been issued for election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of provincial assembly on same day today.

After announcement of winning candidate, the outgoing Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro will administer oath from the elected Speaker while elected Speaker will announce the results of election and administer oath from the Deputy Speaker.

According to the sources in Sindh Assembly, the election for Chief Minister will be held on May 30 on Thursday.

FAREWELL MEETING OF INTERIM CABINET: The farewell meeting of interim Sindh Cabinet met with caretaker Chief Minister Justice (r) Zahid Qurban Alvi on Tuesday claimed that it fulfilled its responsibility of holding fair, free and transparent elections in the province.

The caretaker ministers presented their performance report in the meeting and complained non-cooperation of the bureaucrats. Caretaker information minister Noorul Huda Shah while briefing to the media said that interim government did its best to fulfill the responsibility of free and fair elections by providing security.

She added that ensuring the free and fair elections was the responsibility of the election commission of Pakistan as interim government was supposed to only provide assistance and ensure security during polls. She further said that some bureaucrats did not cooperate with the interim governments; however the government fulfilled its responsibility with honesty.

To another question, she said that impression about interference by the PPP leaders in the affairs of the interim government was incorrect.