MUZAFFARABAD: Newly elected members of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly (AJKLA) elected Shah Ghulam Qadir as house speaker and Farooq Ahmad Tahir as his deputy in Muzaffarabad on Saturday.
During the session of the house, 48 out of 49 members of the assembly voted to elect candidates to the offices of speaker and deputy speaker of the assembly.
Qadir, who is also secretary general of the party’s AJK chapter, bagged 39 votes. His rival Amir Ghaffar Lone, a nominee of PPP, secured four votes while All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference candidate Malik Nawaz polled three votes. During the process two votes of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf were rejected.
Ali Shan Soni, who was elected as an independent candidate, voted in favour of PML-N candidates. Sardar Khalid Ibrahim of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Party remained absent from the proceedings. “The PML-N enjoys two-thirds majority with 38 assembly members in the house of 49. Later the outgoing speaker, Sardar Ghulam Sadiq, administered oath to Qadir.
Qadir created parliamentary history on Saturday, becoming the only politician to have been twice elected as house speaker. In his address to the legislators, he said that he would serve the house with impartiality. “Besides to maintain the honour and dignity of the house our prayers are with valiant Kashmiris living in Indian administered Kashmir. This house will also try to work for the Kashmir cause both at national and international level,” Qadir added.
Farooq Ahmad Tahir of PML-N also bagged 39 votes as a Deputy Speaker. Speaker Qadir administered the oath of Farooq Ahmad Tahir as Deputy Speaker of AJKLA after his elections.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2016.
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