Pakistan to hold first session of new National Assembly on August 13
Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk has recommended the first session of the new National Assembly should be held on August 13, paving the way for Imran Khan to be formally elected as the premier by the House on August 15 or 16.
Following the election, Khan’s swearing-in ceremony is expected to be held on August 17 or 18, observers said on Thursday.
Thursday was the deadline for independent candidates to join a political party, and 28 independent members of the National Assembly officially notified the Election Commission about joining Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Pakistan’s Constitution calls for the National Assembly to be convened within 21 days of a parliamentary election. The first session will see the oath-taking ceremony of newly elected members of the House. After taking oath, the MPs will elect the Speaker and deputy speaker. Balloting for Prime Minister and leader opposition will be held after that.
In a related development, PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said on Thursday the party had achieved a simple majority in the National Assembly after the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) announced it would support the PTI at the Centre.
The PTI, which is expected to form the next government, has already named Khan as its prime ministerial candidate, while PML-N chief Shehbaz Sharif is the joint candidate of all the opposition parties for the slot. However, Sharif is unlikely to win as the opposition parties do not have the numbers in the 342-member National Assembly.
Earlier, the interim government sent an official communication to the President seeking the convening of the parliamentary session between August 12 and 14. “We have proposed to convene the new National Assembly session between August 12 and August 14,” interim information minister Syed Ali Zafar said.