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Pakistan elects first woman provincial chief minister

27 February 2024 08:00 (UTC+04:00)
Pakistan elects first woman provincial chief minister

Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of three-time former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was elected as the leader of the eastern Punjab provincial assembly, making her the country's first-ever woman chief minister, Azernews reports, citing Yeni Safak.

Maryam, 50, a candidate for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and its allies, received 220 votes in a 371-member Punjab Assembly.

Her rival, Rana Aftab pitched by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) backed independent lawmakers of jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan, boycotted the election in the house as he was not allowed by the speaker to speak before the voting for the chief minister position.

A candidate required 186 votes to get elected as the leader of the house.

Maryam, the political scion of the Sharif family, was elected to the provincial assembly from the northeastern city of Lahore, a PML-N's stronghold, in the Feb. 8 elections.

She also won a seat in the lower house, or the National Assembly from Lahore, which she later gave up to run for chief minister office.

The PML-N lawmakers thumped their desks and chanted “sher sher” (lion lion), the party's election symbol, as the speaker announced the results.

Nawaz's party has emerged as the single largest party in Punjab, the country's most populous and richest province in the Feb. 8 elections, trailing only PTI-backed independent candidates.

The majority of PTI-backed independents later joined the Sunni Ittehhad Council (SCI), a small religiopolitical party, intending to gain more seats in the Punjab Assembly reserved for women and religious minorities.

Nonetheless, the Election Commission of Pakistan has yet to allot reserved seats because the party did not submit a list of candidates for reserved seats before the general election.

The electoral body allocates reserved seats based on the proportion of a party's winning seats in the house.

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