AFP PHOTO / FAROOQ NAEEM
AFP PHOTO / FAROOQ NAEEM

Islamabad : Pakistan’s Prime Minister-in-waiting Imran Khan was among the 329 newly-elected members of the National Assembly who took the oath on Monday, setting the stage for the cricketer-turned-politician to form the next government, only the second democratic transition of power.

The maiden session of the 15th National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, concluded after outgoing Speaker Ayaz Sadiq administered the oath to the leaders in the 342-member house.

The 329 members signed their presence in a register.

The National Assembly session was then adjourned till 10 am, August 15, Geo News reported.

President Mamnoon Hussain had summoned the maiden session at 10 am in Parliament house on Monday, 19 days after Khan-led PTI party emerged as the single largest in the general elections. Khan and other prominent leaders, including PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and former president Asif Ali Zardari also took oath.

The PTI chief shook hands and posed for a photo with Bilawal, who is entering the National Assembly for his maiden term, Dawn said.

The Speaker announced elections of the new Speaker and his deputy will be held on August 15.

The PTI has nominated Asad Qaisar for Speaker, while Opposition has named Syed Khurshid Shah of the PPP as the joint opposition candidate for the post.

Earlier, the maiden session started with the National Anthem, followed by recitation from the Holy Quran.

Khan looked prominent as he sat in the front row of the Parliament house close to the chair of the leader of the house, which he is eventually expected to take after formal election as premier.

Strict measures have been put in place to avoid any untoward incident during the proceedings and irrelevant persons have been barred from entering the house.

Sources said the list of the Cabinet has not been finalised but there is a general consensus Shah Mahmood Qureshi will be the new Foreign Minister and Pervez Khattak the new Interior Minister. Asad Umar is expected to get the key post of Finance Minister.

Khan is expected to appoint prominent businessman Abdul Razzak Dawood as adviser on finance. Dawood served in the Cabinet of former military dictator Pervez Musharraf.

The election of the PM will be held after election of the new Speaker who will supervise the election of the premier. The combined Opposition has nominated Shehbaz Sharif against Khan.

He borrows waistcoat

Islamabad: PM-in-waiting Imran Khan on Monday borro­w­ed a waistcoat from an employee of the National Assembly to pose for a photo for his parliamentary registration card, Urdu langauge daily Jang reported. Khan, 65, arrived in Parlia­ment wearing a traditional white salwar kameez to attend the maiden session of the National Assembly.

Shehbaz, Bilawal among 2,870 candidates whose security will be forfeited: PML-N chief Shehbaz Sharif and chairman of the PPP Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari are among the candidates whose security deposit will be forfeited for failing to get 25% of the total votes polled in their constituen­cies in the July 25 elections, said a report.

A total of 3,355 candidates from various parties contested on the 272 seats of the National Assembly polls. Imran’s PTI won 116 seats. Around 85%, 2,870 of the 3,355 contes­tants, including chiefs of 10 parties, failed to obtain the mandatory 25% of the total votes.

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