Pakistan National Assembly’s first session starts

Islamabad, June 1 (IANS) The first session of Pakistan’s newly-elected National Assembly started Saturday with the oath-taking of its members here.

Speaker of the outgoing National Assembly Fehmida Mirza administered the oath to the new members. Mirza, who is also an elected member of the National Assembly, congratulated the new members in her brief remarks, reported Xinhua.

State and private TV channels aired live the oath-taking ceremony.

The first session of the National Assembly marked the first phase of transition of power to the newly-elected people’s representatives at the centre and four provinces following the May 11 general elections.

The 342-member National Assembly is expected to elect new speaker and deputy speaker Monday.

The house will elect the country’s new prime minister June 5.

All parties held parliamentary party meetings before the session and discussed their strategy.

Prime Minister-in-waiting Nawaz Sharif presided over the meeting of his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Sharif, who has twice served as prime minister, will lead Pakistan for the third time.

The outgoing ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamiat ulema-e-Islam (JuI-F) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) also held separate meetings.

PTI chief Imran Khan could not attend the first session as doctors have advised him more rest. Khan was injured after falling off a lift during the election campaign.

The PPP, PTI and MQM have decided to sit on the opposition benches. JuI-F is holding talks with the PML-N for a possible coalition.

The opposition parties will discuss appointment of a consensus leader of the opposition.

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