Maryam Nawaz Elected As Punjab's First Woman Chief Minister

In her maiden speech as chief minister, Maryam says she does not desire revenge against anyone and that she will be a chief minister for even those who did not vote for her 

Maryam Nawaz Elected As Punjab's First Woman Chief Minister

Maryam Nawaz Sharif on Monday became the first woman to be elected as the chief minister of Pakistan's largest province, Punjab. 

She received 220 votes to her opponent Rana Aftab's zero votes.

When Monday's session began, newly-elected Punjab Assembly Speaker Malik Ahmed Khan started to explain the voting process for the chief minister. But members of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), which includes an overwhelming majority of independent candidates who were backed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the February 8 elections, started raising slogans against her and vociferously protesting.

The speaker asked them to calm down and let legal proceedings take place. But this failed to dissuade the protesting members.

The protesting SIC members then staged a walkout.

Speaker Malik Ahmed Khan then asked treasury bench members, including Khalil Tahir, Imran Nazir, Salman Rafique, Sami Ullah, Sohail Shaukat, and Ali Gilani, to convince the boycotting MPAs to return to the assembly and participate in the voting process.

But the protesting members refused to call off their protest and returned to the house.

Consequently, proceedings of the house, including voting for the chief minister, commenced with members of the SIC boycotting.

Maryam received 220 votes while her opponent received no votes and was thus elected as the new leader of the house on account of attaining sufficient votes to show a majority in the house.

Don't desire revenge from anyone: Maryam

In her maiden speech to the assembly as the newly-elected chief minister, Maryam said she did not harbour animosity or a desire for revenge against anyone.

"I am also the chief minister of those members who did not vote for me."

Holding a picture of her late mother, Kalsoom Nawaz, she said that if the opposition had participated in the democratic process of voting for chief minister or had remained in Parliament and caused a commotion, she would have liked it more. 

Maryam said that her doors for the opposition members will always remain open.

She added that the trials and tribulations she had overcome to reach this stage were unparalleled. She said she had seen a time when everything seemed against her.

In a veiled swipe at the opposition, she said that if someone rises to a position as a consequence of revenge, there is a perception that they will now exact their revenge. She assured that she did not desire revenge on anyone and instead thanked those who had targeted her. 

Maryam further said that she desired to work with everyone and that she will head to her office immediately after the assembly session and start work on the party's manifesto.

She added that her being elected as chief minister of Pakistan's largest province was an honour for women across Pakistan.