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New NA speaker Ayaz Sadiq promises neutrality
June 05, 2013
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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, elected Speaker of the National Assembly on Monday, pledged to remain impartial to ensure smooth running of the business of the lower house.

He thanked Nawaz Sharif, leaders of various parties and MNAs for honouring him.

The veteran parliamentarian from Lahore was elected with a thumping majority. He bagged 258 of the 313 votes that were cast in the election of the Speaker in the secret ballot.

One vote was declared invalid.

Sadiq’s rivals secured far fewer votes - Shaheryar Afridi of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf got only 31 votes while SA Iqbal Qadri of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement got 23 votes.

“Ayaz Sadiq, who has obtained more votes than the aggregate votes secured by other candidates, is declared to have been elected as Speaker of the National Assembly,” said outgoing Speaker Fehmida Mirza, who was the first woman to hold the post.

Mirza also administered the oath of office to Sadiq.

Born in a business family of Lahore, Sadiq, 59, has been elected to parliament thrice since 2002.

The total strength of the National Assembly is 342 but several lawmakers, including Nawaz Sharif, won more than one seat which they have surrendered.

The Election Commission has countermanded polls in several seats and ordered repolling in others.

Sadiq is the 19th Speaker of the lower house of parliament.

His election was greeted by slogans and thumping of desks by members of the PML-N, which is set to form government after winning the May 11 general election.

Earlier, the Pakistan People’s Party, which led the previous government, withdrew its candidates for the post of Speaker after talks with the PML-N.

Sadiq called on the parliamentarians to fully participate in the proceedings of the National Assembly and take decisions in best national interest.

“We all should contribute in the progress and prosperity of the country and must think what we can do for our motherland,” he said.

Sadiq said they could change destiny of the nation if they work together and take collective decisions in the larger interest of the country.


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