Islamabad, Feb.25 : New federal and provincial governments will be in place in the second week of March after all the procedural requirements have been met.
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Secretary Kanwar M Dilshad and another senior official told The News that President Pervez Musharraf would convene the National Assembly and the governors would summon the respective provincial assemblies in the second week of the next month for administering oath to the members-elect, holding the election of the speakers and deputy speakers and leaders of the Houses.
Under the rules, within a period of 10 days of the general elections, the MNAs and MPAs elect are required to submit to the ECP their returns of election expenses.
On the expiration of this time on February 28, the ECP would officially notify the results. The name of anybody, who has not filed such returns, will not be issued in the official gazette.
Dilshad said that after this, the independents would be given three days, meaning Feb 29 and March 1 and 2, to join any political party if they wanted. It is not mandatory for them to associate themselves with the parliamentary parties.
He said that then the election on the basis of proportional representation to the reserved seats for women and minorities, as per the lists submitted by the political parties to the ECP before the Feb 18 polls, would be held in the next three days i.e. March 3, 4 and 5.
The next day, Dilshad said, the lists of notified MNAs and MPAs would be sent to the offices of the National and provincial assemblies. This will wrap up the ECP's massive operation relating to the conduct of the general elections.
The official said that then it would be for the president and the governors to call the National and provincial assemblies respectively at an appropriate time. He said that there was no fixed time provided in the rules about the holding of the first session of these elected bodies.
He said there was no doubt anywhere in the official circles that Musharraf would immediately convene the Lower House once the procedural requirements were fulfilled.
Generally, the next day the election of the leader of the House (prime minister) takes place. But there is no bar in the rules on the election of the leader of the House the same day. After such election, the premier takes oath without any delay.