LAHORE - As the Punjab Assembly is meeting here on Monday (today) after a day break to elect its new Speaker and Deputy Speaker, Rana Muhammad Iqbal of the PML-N is all set to occupy Speaker’s chair for another five years.

Present Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal along with Sher Ali Gorchani of the PML-N filed their nomination papers on Sunday for the slots of Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively. Gorchani hails from South Punjab.

Raja Rashid Hafeez of the PTI and Sardar Waqas Hasan of the PML-Q are the joint candidates of the two parties for the slots of Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively.

No candidate from the PPP side filed papers for the two slots, but its members, six in number, are most likely to support the PML-Q candidate.

The name of former Law Minister Rana Sanaullah was also under consideration for the office of Speaker, but the PML-N leadership finally decided in favour of Rana Iqbal who would be enjoying second consecutive term as Speaker after his re-election.

Talking to the media on Sunday at Punjab Assembly, Rana Sanaullah said that Shahbaz Sharif wanted to keep him with himself and hence it was decided to give another term to Rana Iqbal.

He said Chief Minister would decide about his portfolio in the new Cabinet.

Sources said that Rana Mashhood, ex-Deputy Speaker, was also in the race for the Speakership. The leadership wanted him to run for the Deputy Speaker slot, but he did not want to take a second term as Deputy Speaker. The leadership then nominated Sher Ali, promising Mashhood some lucrative portfolio in the new Cabinet, said the sources.

The Punjab Assembly session is scheduled to commence at 11 am with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the chair. But when the process for election of the Speaker starts, he would vacate the chair and one of the MPAs in the list of panel of Chairmen would preside over the part of the Assembly proceedings for election of the Speaker.

According to Secretary Assembly, Maqsood Malik, the name of Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan is at the top of the list of panel of Chairmen, and he is most likely to act a Presiding Officer during election of the Speaker.

He would then administer oath to the newly elected Speaker.

Following this, new Speaker would take the seat and conduct the proceedings for election of the Deputy Speaker, the Secretary Assembly explained while talking to The Nation.