MUZAFFARABAD: The last session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Legislative Assembly under the chair of outgoing speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir was convened on Tuesday, during which the new speaker, deputy speaker and 49 newly elected members took oath of their respective offices.
Speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir administered the oath to the newly appointed members after notification of their election was read out by the Assembly secretary, Chaudhry Basharat Hussain.
Three newly elected members were not present to take the oath, namely PPP members Chaudhary Yaseen who has been elected on two seats, PPP member Chaudhry Javed Budhanvi, who is said to be sick due to COVID- 19, and Muslim Conference leader Sardar Attique Ahmad Khan.
After the oath taking, the speaker adjourned the session till 2pm for the filing of nomination papers for the election of Assembly Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
PTI nominated former speaker Chaudhary Anwarul Haq for the office of speaker and Chaudhry Riaz Gujar for the office of deputy speaker while opposition parties nominated PPP’s Faisal Mumtaz Rathore for the office of speaker and PML-N member elected on reserved seats, Nasaran Abbasi, for the office of Deputy Speaker.
PTI candidate Anwarul Haq won the election for speaker with 32 votes, whereas PTI candidate Chaudhry Riaz Gujar won the election for deputy speaker, also with 32 votes.
Both took oath of office after winning.
PM Imran Khan’s choice for AJK PM ‘will be accepted by all’
Following his appointment as speaker, Anwarul Haq spoke to the media. He said that the House will be run in an “impartial” manner and that he will do his utmost to faithfully discharge his duties.
He asked the people not to pay heed to any rumours circulating about the election for the prime minister.
“It will be Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision,” he said.
Meanwhile, PM hopeful Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, from the PTI, said that the speaker and deputy speaker election was held as per democratic traditions.
“The choice for the Azad Jammu and Kashmir prime minister by will be made by Prime Minister Imran Khan today evening or tomorrow,” he estimated.
Ilyas said that “people who believe in factions, are not a part of the PTI”, insisting that there are no divisions within the PTI.
In addition, the president of the PTI Kashmir chapter, Barrister Sultan Mahmood, said that “a major round of government formation took place today”.
“We got 32 votes and the opposition got 15 votes,” Mahmood said.
He, too, said that the decision to elect the prime minister will solely be made by PM Imran Khan “which will be accepted by all”.
Mahmood said that he is not a candidate for the post of Azad Jammu and Kashmir president.
“We have not spoken to any political party, on any political matter,” he added.
The leader of the House, the Azad Jammu and Kashmir prime minister, will be elected tomorrow and will take oath of the office in the evening.
The prime minister will not be elected by secret ballot, the Assembly secretary said.
Members of the Assembly will come to the secretary and indicate their choice of candidate and a mark against the candidate’s name will be made.
Schedule of events
According to the secretary, nomination papers will be submitted from 9am to 11am after which they will be checked, from 11:30 am till 12 noon.
A list of candidates contesting the election will be posted at 12 noon.
The return of papers will take place from 12 noon to 1pm, and the final list will be posted at 1pm.
Polling will be held at 2pm.