ISLAMABAD : Newly-elected MNAs took oath in the inaugural session of the 15th National Assembly on Monday.
The swearing-in marked the third consecutive democratic transfer of power in the country.
Outgoing NA speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq administered oath to the newly-elected members. This was followed by signing of the ‘Roll of Members’.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, who is set to become the country’s next prime minister, also took the oath.
Other leaders of prominent political parties including PPP’s Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Zardari, and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif were also in attendance. Bilawal, who has been elected to the National Assembly for the first time, shook hands with Imran Khan as the MNA-elects took their seats.
It may be noted that the National Assembly welcomed 134 new faces this time. Today’s session witnessed unique distinction in which three fathers and three sons took oath as members of the National Assembly.
Father and son duos elected as MNAs included Asif Ali Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Pervaiz Malik and his son Ali Pervaiz Malik, and Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his son Zain Qureshi.
Bilawal’s sisters Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari and Aseefa Bhutto Zardari witnessed the proceedings of the session, and accorded standing ovations to their father and brother when their names were called to sign the roll register after taking the oath.
Although Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman could not win an NA seat this time, his son Asad Mahmood along with his aunt Shahida Akhtar Ali was elected to the House.
The brother-sister duo of Raza Rabbani Khar and Hina Rabbani Khar made it to the National Assembly. Former prime ministers Raja Pervez Ashraf and Mian Mohammad Soomro were elected as well, as were former speakers Fakhar Imam and Fehmida Mirza and outgoing speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.
Elected members of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan assemblies were also sworn in today. The Punjab Assembly session, on the other hand, is slated for August 15 after the Independence Day.
Elections for Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly will be held on August 15.
According to the schedule issued by NA Secretariat, the nomination papers for Speaker and Deputy Speaker can be submitted in the office of Secretary National Assembly by Tuesday noon.
Ayaz Sadiq said that candidates can withdraw their nomination papers before the elections.
PTI has nominated Asad Qaiser for the slot of the speaker while the joint opposition has fielded Syed Khurseed Shah for speakership.
Meanwhile, strict security arrangements have been made for the occasion as at least a thousand security men have been deployed in and outside the parliament building.
The Constitution makes it mandatory to convene NA session within 21 days of general elections. After the oath-taking ceremony, the speaker will prorogue the NA session until August 15, when the new speaker and deputy speaker of the assembly will be elected.
The deadline for submitting nomination papers for the aforementioned slots is 12am, Tuesday while the voting will take place the same day.