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ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and senior vice president of PDM Raja Pervez Ashraf has expressed the hope that the issue of the leader of the opposition in the Senate will be settled amicably with consensus among the combined opposition parties in accordance with the established democratic norms and traditions.

He said this while commenting on reports that PML-N had nominated its candidate for the slot of opposition leader in the Senate and that it was asking other parties in the opposition PDM to endorse its candidate for the same.

He said that with 21 senators in the upper house the PPP was the single largest opposition party in the Senate. The PPP believed that in accordance with democratic traditions the slot of opposition leader in the Senate should go to it, he said.

Raja Pervez said that the two other most important parliamentary positions namely the opposition leader in the National Assembly and chairman of the public accounts committee both were held by the PML-N. It would be only right and proper that the third important parliamentary position namely the leader of the opposition in the senate was given to the largest opposition party in the upper house instead of the party which already held the other two important parliamentary positions.

He said that he was also a member of the Committee formed by the sarbarahi ijlas of PDM to propose opposition names for the slots of Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Opposition leader in Senate. He said that he had agreed that the three Senate slots be distributed among the three largest opposition parties in PDM by proposing candidate of PPP for Chairman, of JUI for Deputy Chairman and PML-N for the Opposition leader. However after manipulation in the said election and denial of the Chairmanship to Mr. Gillani by wrongly rejecting 7 votes cast in his favour the situation had completely changed.

Raja Pervez Ashraf said that after election to the office of Chairman Senate the situation with regard to the available slots in the upper house and its distribution among various opposition parties had completely changed. The stance of the PPP with regard to the opposition leader was based on democratic principles, equity and fair play, he said.—PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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