ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s first woman speaker Dr. Fehmida Mirza has administered oath to newly elected members of 14th National Assembly (MNAs) on Saturday.
Dr. Fehmida Mirza has chaired the inaugural session of the house for the oath taking event from new MNAs-elect came into being following general election 2013.
It is pertinent to be notified, Mirza was elected for the post of speaker National Assembly, being the first-ever female, during the tenure of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) while the selection of a lady speaker was highly appreciated across the democratic world.
The speaker congratulated the MNAs on their success in election after the national anthem was played at the outset of proceedings.
After the formal proceedings, a solemn promise for the Pakistan’s sovereignty and loyalty was taken by the newly elected MNAs in shape of constitutional oath.
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif was amongst the oath takers as he is sure to become the future Prime Minister of Pakistan due to largest mandate holding party across the country.
Among the steep challenges the legislators will face: massive energy shortages that leave some Pakistanis without power for up to 20 hours a day; a badly ailing economy that might force the Muslim-majority nation to seek an international bailout; and ongoing militant activity by Taliban and other extremists whose violence has killed thousands in the past decade and badly strained Pakistan’s alliance with the United States.
“We are facing many challenges, but God willing, we will overcome them,” said Sharif, who twice served as prime minister in the 1990s and was ousted in a 1999 military coup. The 63-year-old is expected to be sworn in as prime minister and appoint his Cabinet in the coming week.
The PML-N has captured 176 seats in the 342-member lower house of Parliament. The previous ruling Pakistan People’s Party was crushed, earning just 39 seats.
Former cricket star Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party won 35 seats, and has pledged to act as a strong opposition. Khan, who is still recovering after fracturing three vertebrae and a rib when he fell off a forklift in the last few days of the campaign, did not attend Saturday’s session.
The simple act of the oath-taking was historic in Pakistan, a country of 180 million that was carved out of India in 1947. For most of its history, military coups and other political turmoil prevented elected civilian governments from finishing their terms.