The National and Punjab assemblies are set to elect Speakers and Deputy Speakers later Monday.

Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) fielded Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, who had defeated Imran Khan in the election on Lahore seat.

 

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) withdrew its candidates Yousuf Talpur for the speaker and Ghulam Rasool Koreja for the office of deputy speaker just minutes before the elections.

 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI’s) has fielded Sheryar Afridi and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM’s) Iqbal Qadri for the office of the Speaker.

 

Similarly‚ PML-N’s Murtaza Javed Abbasi‚ PTI’s Munazza Hasan and MQM’s Kishwar Zehra are contenders for the post of the Deputy Speaker.

 

The election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly is also being held on Monday.

 

PML-N has nominated Rana Mohammad Iqbal Khan as Speaker and Sher Mohammad Gurchani as Deputy Speaker. They submitted their papers on Sunday.

 

Joint candidates of opposition PTI and PML [Q]‚ Raja Raashid Hafeez and Sardar Waqas Hasan Mokal have also submitted their papers.

 

For the National Assembly, contesting candidates submitted their nomination papers on Sunday, which were declared valid after scrutiny.

 

According to PTI spokesperson Dr Shireen Mazari, the party has nominated different candidates to exercise their democratic right.

 

“I think as separate parties we should bring our own candidates, hence PTI has submitted nomination papers of its own members,” she told the media

 

According to sources, PPP wanted to give PML-N a chance to bring an unopposed speaker, deputy speaker and leader of the house.

PTI has already decided to field Makhdoom Javed Hashmi as a candidate for prime minister against Nawaz Sharif.

 

In a bid to field joint candidates, the fourth largest party in the National Assembly, the MQM, was informally approached by PPP, reports say.

 

MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said that since MQM is a small party in the opposition it was the responsibility of PPP and PTI to make efforts for bringing in joint candidates.

 

“There were informal talks in this regard. But no serious effort was made on the part of the two parties to convince MQM to support a joint candidate,” he said.

 

However, Rizvi admitted that PPP leader Khursheed Shah had in fact discussed for a consensus over the leader of the opposition. Rizvi said here is still time to decide on this particular issue.

 

PML-N is likely to win both the offices as it has attained a simple majority of 176 in the lower house, taking into account the support it attains from smaller parties.

 

PPPP has 39 members in the National Assembly, whereas PTI has the strength of 35 seats. A total of 23 members from MQM will sit in the house.

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