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KARACHI: About all the newly elected members of the PPP and MQM-P on Saturday took oath as the provincial legislators but the PTI’s backed independents, JI and GDA boycotted the opening sitting of the 16th Sindh Assembly.

The opposition was seen aligning into a new political formation with parties like JUI-F, PTI, JI, MQM-H, and GDA, which claim ‘rigging’ in the February 8 polls, took out their rallies in the city to protest against the controversial elections.

The administration sealed off key roads, mainly Sharah-e-Faisal and enforced Section 144 in the Red-Zone area, which also houses the Sindh Assembly, as this move was seen as an attempt to prevent the opposition parties from staging protests outside the legislature.

Sindh MPAs-elect to take oath today

The retiring Speaker, Aga Siraj Khan Durrani was first sworn in as an elected member and then he administered the oath to the new legislators, thus, forming the 16th Sindh Assembly.

Durrani administered the oath to the members in Sindhi language, followed by Urdu and English in three phases. However, the PPP’s Nadir Magsi and Nisar Khuhro did not take the oath for now.

The PPP has emerged as the largest political party in Sindh after the hotly fought February 8 elections with 88 seats, followed by the MQM 28, PTI’s independent candidates 14, GDA and JI, two each, according to the ECP poll results.

The house is electing its speaker and deputy speaker on February 25, Sunday at 11:00 am. The PPP with a majority vote in the assembly is most likely to get its nominated candidates - Syed Awais Shah and Anthony Naveed predominantly elected for the top posts, respectively.

The MQM-P has also announced to field its candidates - Advocate, Sofia Shah and Advocate Rashid Khan for the slot of speaker and deputy speaker.

Syed Murad Ali Shah is poised to secure another term as Chief Minister of Sindh with overwhelming support. The election for the leader of the house will take place following the takeover of the speaker and deputy speaker.

Durrani hoped that the new assembly will adhere to the democratic norms and urged the elected members to collaborate for the country’s uplift. He also thanked his party’s central leadership.

In his remarks to reporters, Murad said that there are significant challenges, which the country is grappled with and expressed his disregard for the opposition parties’ protests.

Information Secretary for the GDA, Sardar Abdul Rahim said that his party’s protest is against the “theft” of people’s mandate in the province. The GDA will continue its protest till it reclaims its stolen mandate, he added.

“Protest is our right”, he said and warned that the government should refrain from using violence against the protestors. He said that his party with PTI, JUI-F, JI and MQM-H also holds protest outside the Sindh Assembly.

Citing reports, he said that police has arrested several of his party, PTI, JI and MQM-H workers from different parts of the city.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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