The swearing-in of Imran Khan as Pakistan’s next premier may not be held on August 11 as announced earlier, with reports on Wednesday suggesting the event is now likely to be held on August 16 or 17. While August 14 is a national holiday in Pakistan on account of Independence Day.
Analysts have said the parliamentary process that will lead to a vote of confidence in the leader of the House can only be held after the new Parliament has been summoned and the speaker and deputy speaker have been elected.
Khan had told Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders that he intended to take oath on August 11. However, the local media reported the ceremony is now likely to be held on August 16 or 17. Reports suggested the delay in Khan’s swearing-in may be because the PTI still does not have the required strength in Parliament to elect the new Prime Minister.
Another spanner was thrown in the works this week when the election commission notified the final results of the July 25 general election but withheld results in nine national and 17 provincial assembly seats for various reasons, stirring a new controversy before the formation of the government.
The PTI’s strength in the National Assembly or Lower House with 272 directly elected members has gone down from 116 to 112 and the tally of its ally, the Balochistan Awami Party, has gone from four to three.
Though the Election Commission’s statement did not explain the nature of the violation that led to some results being withheld, it apparently referred to the violation of the secrecy of the vote due to the stamping of ballot papers in a constituency in Islamabad on the table of the presiding officer, instead of voters going behind a screen.
In a related development, the Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside a ruling of the Lahore high court restraining the election commission from issuing the victory notification of PTI chairman Imran Khan from a seat in Lahore, and ordering the returning officer to recount the ballot papers.
Soon after the apex court’s verdict, Khan’s lawyer Babar Awan wrote to the poll panel, requesting it to issue the notification of Khan’s victory in two seats in Lahore and Islamabad. Awan argued that since the apex court had nullified the high court’s ruling, the election commission should issue the victory notification.
Source: HT Media