Aaj English TV

Friday, April 19, 2024  
09 Shawwal 1445  

Maryam Nawaz sworn in as Punjab’s first woman chief minister

She secured 220 votes and her opponent none as opposition boycotted election
Punjab Governor Muhammad Balighur Rehman administers oath of office to newly elected Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz in Lahore on February 26, 2024. Screengrab via Aaj News
Punjab Governor Muhammad Balighur Rehman administers oath of office to newly elected Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz in Lahore on February 26, 2024. Screengrab via Aaj News
Punjab’s newly elected chief minister Maryam Nawaz speaking during Punjab Assembly session on February 26, 2024. Screengrab via YouTube/PTV News
Punjab’s newly elected chief minister Maryam Nawaz speaking during Punjab Assembly session on February 26, 2024. Screengrab via YouTube/PTV News
Punjab Assembly members casting vote during the Punjab CM election on February 26, 2024. Screengrab via Aaj News
Punjab Assembly members casting vote during the Punjab CM election on February 26, 2024. Screengrab via Aaj News
Lawmakers belonging to the Sunni Ittehad Council stages walkout during the Punjab Assembly session on February 26, 2024. Screengrab via Aaj News
Lawmakers belonging to the Sunni Ittehad Council stages walkout during the Punjab Assembly session on February 26, 2024. Screengrab via Aaj News
Punjab Assembly Speaker Malik Ahmad Khan presides over the session on February 26, 2024. Screengrab via Aaj News
Punjab Assembly Speaker Malik Ahmad Khan presides over the session on February 26, 2024. Screengrab via Aaj News

Maryam Nawaz of PML-N on Monday was sworn in as the first woman chief minister in Pakistan after securing the maximum number of votes in the election for the coveted CM Punjab seat.

Punjab Governor Muhammad Balighur Rehman administered the oath of office to her in a ceremony at the Governor House in Lahore.

She thanked all the dignitaries for “gracing the occasion”.

Maryam secured 220 votes while the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) candidate for CM Rana Aftab Iqbal did not get any votes as the SIC members staged a boycott. The session was adjourned for an indefinite period after the newly elected CM’s speech.

Maryam regretted that opposition MPAs boycotted the process, saying that she wanted them to be part of the democratic process.

“We as democrats know how important it is to participate in the democratic process,” she added.

She followed in the footsteps of her father Nawaz Sharif who also served in the same capacity in the 1980s.

Highlighting the absence of the opposition, the CM of Punjab said that she would have been happy and would have welcomed opposition members’ protest during her speech.

PML-N’s legacy and ‘everyone’s CM’

“I want to tell them that I am CM of those who voted for me and also of those who did not vote for him,” she added.

She resolved to be available to the opposition parties, saying that they would be welcomed the same as her party members.

The newly-elected CM thanked her father Nawaz Sharif, uncle Shehbaz Sharif, and the whole party for trusting her with the responsibility.

“I am thankful that you have made me occupy the seat from where a visionary leader like Nawaz started his career [and] who later made Pakistan invincible with nuclear technology,” said the newly-elected chief minister.

Touting her election as a win for women, she expressed hope that more women reach the coveted CM seat after her.

‘Honour’ for every woman in Pakistan

She went on to add that her appointment as the country’s first CM was an “honour for every woman” in the country and hoped that the tradition of female leadership would continue in the future as well.

“Being a woman, a daughter will not come in the way of your dreams,” she said.

‘No to revenge politics’

Recalling her ordeals in the past, Maryam said that she did not desire revenge on anyone.

“I neither have a feeling of revenge or vengeance and my journey includes my arrest, my father’s arrest, my mother’s passing away,” she said.

“I thank my late mother too as she knowingly and unknowingly trained me for this day. She is still present with me, her prayers and best wishes. She taught me how to face trials,” said Maryam in her speech.

She announced her decision to have free medicines in government hospitals and air ambulances in terrain areas where medical facilities were not enough.

“We are going to start air ambulance soon,” Maryam said.

Ramazan relief package for Punjab

In her speech, she announced a Ramazan relief package, Nigheban, for the province.

It includes essentials worth Rs6.5 to Rs7 million which would be distributed to the people in packages during Ramazan. “The package will be delivered to their doorstep.”

Maryam added that marketplaces providing essential items at subsidised rates will also be set up.

‘Harassment of women is a red line’

She said the safety of women in the province was her first priority. “Therefore, I am announcing a dedicated helpline for women,” she said.

Women would also be provided proper facilities, including separate washrooms and daycare centres, at workplaces, the newly elected CM said.

“Harassing any woman is Maryam Nawaz’s red line,” she affirmed.

She also lauded Gulber Circle ASP Shehr Bano for protecting the life of a teenage girl wearing a dress with Arabic calligraphy printed on it from an attack by a charged mob in Lahore on Sunday.

Education, jobs, healthcare facilities

She outlined that the PML-N’s key objective during her tenure would be the provision of employment, education and healthcare.

“I was born in an affluent household but the difficulties I have faced, I got a chance to hold direct interaction with the common people and I am aware of their problems […] I know the expectations they have from the government. Therefore, from today onwards, after the oath, I will go to my office and begin the implementation of my manifesto,” she said.

IT cities, free WiFi in Lahore

She vowed to establish five IT cities in the province and added that she has asked a team member to reach out to top tech giants to invest in the country.

Maryam announced that Lahore would be a free WiFi city.

Zero tolerance for police high-handedness

She stated that there would be zero tolerance for police high-handedness.

In her victory speech, she said that a recent such incident, which took place in Taxila over the weekend, would be investigated.

On Saturday, a cop was suspended after a video of him slapping an elderly woman and pushing her to the ground went viral.

Breaking ceiling

She thanked her party for breaking the ceiling to elect a woman chief minister for the first time in the country.

Maryam reiterated that her rise to the coveted post was an achievement for every woman, daughter, and mother.

PTI backed MPAs protest outside Punjab Assembly

PTI-backed opposition members protested outside the Punjab Assembly after boycotting the session. They chanted that “only Imran Khan will save Pakistan”.

‘Minorities are crown of head’

In her speech, she said that minorities were the crown of the party’s head and vowed to make the province safe for the people representing white colour in the country’s flag.

100,000 free houses in Punjab

She added that the government would establish as many as 100,000 houses in the province and said that an announcement in this regard would soon be made.

Voting process

The process of voting ended at the Punjab Assembly to elect the chief minister of Punjab without lawmakers belonging to the opposition SIC who staged a walkout of the House twice during the session proceedings.

Earlier, SIC’s MPAs protested and staged a walkout after Speaker Malik Ahmed Khan did not allow SIC candidate for CM Rana Aftab Iqbal to discuss a point of order, citing that he would only proceed with the election for the coveted slot.

Speaker Khan, who presided over the session, later formed a six-member committee to bring them back to the House. At the outset of proceedings, he administered an oath of office to a newly elected lawmaker.

After the announcement of the procedure of the voting, lawmakers from the SIC started chanting slogans and boycotted the election when the speaker ordered ringing the bell to start the voting process.

Maryam arrived at the assembly along with her party MPAs. She was holding a placard showing a picture of her father and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif.

 PML-N candidate Maryam Nawaz waves to the crowd after arriving in the Punjab Assembly on February 26, 2024. Screengrab via YouTube/PTV News
PML-N candidate Maryam Nawaz waves to the crowd after arriving in the Punjab Assembly on February 26, 2024. Screengrab via YouTube/PTV News

The Punjab Assembly comprises 327 seats. The N-league has claimed to have the support of 224 lawmakers while the SIC has claimed to have the support of 103 MPAs. A candidate has to take 186 votes to become Leader of the House.

For polling, the House would be divided into two sides: each for the respective candidate. Lawmakers in favour of their respective candidates would exit the gates on the speaker’s right and left sides.

Bells would then ring to signal that voting had ended and members returned to their seats. The candidate with the majority of the votes would be declared the winner.

The speaker would inform the governor about the swearing in ceremony after the election for the chief minister.

The nomination papers of Maryam and Aftab were accepted on Sunday. Punjab Assembly Speaker Malik Ahmed Khan reviewed the papers and declared them valid after scrutiny.

Political stability biggest challenge for PML-N: Sanaullah

PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah has said that having political stability in the country would be the biggest challenge for the party’s leadership.

While talking to reporters in Lahore, he said that political stability was important for economic stability.

Sanaullah went on to add that ending polarization and a culture of misbehaving with each other was another challenge for the party.

 PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah speaks to reporters in Lahore on February 26, 2024. Screengrab via Aaj News
PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah speaks to reporters in Lahore on February 26, 2024. Screengrab via Aaj News

“We are here to witness this session and we are proud to be part of this historic moment,” he said while speaking about the session convened to elect a new chief minister. The former interior minister said that Maryam would continue the legacy of Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif – both served in a similar capacity before becoming prime ministers.

To a query, he said that every segment would support his party if elected as the CM.

He advised opposition parties protesting against alleged rigging in elections to approach the tribunals, saying that a similar piece of advice was given to them by the PTI after the 2018 elections.

Sindh CM election

In Sindh, PPP’s Murad Ali Shah will be up against Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan candidate Ali Khurshidi amid a boycott by the PTI and the JI.

Meanwhile, MPAs of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Jamaat-e-Islami have announced that they would boycott the proceedings for the Sindh CM’s election.

The polling for the Sindh CM would take place at 2pm on Monday (today), according to the schedule announced by Sindh Assembly Speaker Owais Qadir Shah.

Ghulam Qadir Chandio, Saleh Shah and Naeem Kharal submitted the nomination papers to the assembly on behalf of Murad Ali Shah.

For the latest news, follow us on Twitter @Aaj_Urdu. We are also on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Murad Ali Shah

Maryam Nawaz

punjab assembly

Sindh Assembly

Comments are closed on this story.

Comments

Taboola

Taboola ads will show in this div