Putting paid to the strident PTI campaign against him Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz nominee Sardar Ayaz Sadiq was re-elected earlier today to the coveted office he was forced to leave after an election tribunal had nullified his election from NA-122 (Lahore V) on August 22.
While announcing the result, acting speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi said, “Shafqat Mahmood secured 31 votes, while Sardar Ayaz Sadiq got 268 votes.” A total of 300 votes were polled and one vote was found invalid. Shafqat Mehmood was the PTI candidate and was roundly thrashed by the PML N’s Ayaz.
“Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has been re-elected as NA speaker,” he added.
All but one opposition party threw their weight behind Sadiq for the election of National Assembly speaker held today.
“I thank Almighty Allah for my reselection and this is the first time in Pakistan that a National Assembly speaker has been reelected from the same assembly,” Sadiq said.
While expressing his gratitude to all political parties and parliamentarians for their support Sadiq thanked PTI members for taking part in the democratic process.
“Together we will defend democracy and Constitution and I will play every role in making this house functional,” he vowed.
Further, the newly elected speaker hoped to resume the process from where it stopped. “This is not my victory but the victory of democracy and Constitution.”
PTI’s Shafqat Mehmood congratulated Sadiq for getting reelected as speaker of the National Assembly.
“All national issues should be discussed inside the parliament and a consensus should be developed on national issues,” the PTI leader said in his address to the House.
He further said that all the parliamentarians should make the National Assembly functional instead of calling out all parties conferences.
“It is a huge challenge for all parliamentarians to discuss issues of great national importance in the parliament and we should try to restore people’s trust in the country’s democratic system.”
The lower house of parliament held a rare session to elect its custodian. The election process started at 9am – and the results were announced by acting speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi. It is rare for the assembly to elect a speaker midway through its five-year term and even rarer to see the same person reentering the coveted office again.
Acting speaker Mumtaz Javaid Abbasi has relinquished office of acting speaker after election of new speaker. He would remain as deputy speaker. Under constitution if office of speaker becomes vacant, deputy speaker assumes office as acting speaker, till new speaker is elected.
Although the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf nominated its lawmaker, Shafqat Mahmood, for the contest, Sadiq had a walkover as almost all opposition parties announced support for him.
Having been unseated by the election tribunal, Sadiq contested a by-election last month to reclaim his lost seat in the National Assembly.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif nominated Sadiq as PML-N’s choice for the speaker’s slot during a meeting at the premier’s Jati Umrah residence in Raiwind. After getting the approval, Sadiq submitted his nomination papers in the National Assembly Secretariat.
While talking to journalists, he thanked all the parliamentary parties that have announced their support to him, including PPP, MQM, JUI-F, PML-Q, ANP, PML-Z, PML-F, and Jamaat-e-Islami.
Sadiq promised that he would remain unbiased after becoming the custodian of the house and perform even better than his previous incomplete term as the speaker. “Whether someone votes for me or not, I will not consider them a separate group,” he said.
In reply to a question about Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s demand for holding elections last week, Sadiq termed the PTI leader’s action inappropriate.
Qureshi had demanded that as per rules, election for speaker should be held first before the house took up the routine agenda. Sadiq said if a party member won an election and came to the house, he would remain a stranger until he took oath. “I wasn’t even nominated for the speaker’s slot then. He didn’t want me to take oath and become the speaker,” he claimed. PTI’s Mahmood had filed his nomination papers on Friday.
Meanwhile, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said on Sunday that by participating in Monday’s election, the PTI was accepting results of the NA-122 by-election. In a veiled reference to PTI leaders, Rashid said a peculiar mindset was using abusive language and levelling baseless allegations against their opponents under the garb of opposition. He added that such mindset hindered the process of reconciliation and harmed the country. He urged the political parties to forget their petty issues, and shun the politics of confrontation.