ISLAMABAD   –   The incumbent government, at the start of the current national assembly session, has ensured the opposition factions and PTI’s dissident members to complete the national assembly house in the current session by conducting election of an opposition leader, however, the issue still lingers.

Unprecedentedly, the national assembly house has been running without an opposition leader in the national assembly since the incumbent government has taken the reins.

The opposition factions [PML-Q and GDA] and the group of PTI dissidents have made up their minds to get elected their member for the important slot in the parliament.

The group of PTI MNAs, who did not submit their resignations, on the basis of majority in opposition benches, are also willing to grab this position for taking important decisions in near future. The present government, even after five weeks, has so far not been able to take any decision over the resignations of PTI MNAs, from standing committees and important parliamentary committees. Political and constitutional views suggest that the PTI members group in the parliament will easily grab this position on the basis of its majority.

The problem is division in the ranks of PTI’s MNAS in the lower house of the parliament, as three groups in these 20 members have emerged for this position. Three members including Raja Riaz, Noor Alam and Ahmed Hussain Dehar are the top contenders eying on this position. On the other hand, the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) is exhibiting itself as a ‘real opposition party’ to take this position. “We are the real opposition in the national assembly to take this slot. Speaker national assembly should not delay conducting election of the opposition leader in the house,” said a senior member from GDA Fehmida Mirza while talking to this scribe.

The former Speaker National Assembly said that it was decided by the business advisory committee to conduct the elections of the opposition leader in the current session of the national assembly. “We will keep reminding the chair about this decision,” she said.

When contacted, PTI MNA Noor Alam said that the Speaker National Assembly should not further delay initiating the process to elect the opposition leader by the house. He also hinted at a division in the ranks of PTI dissident members in the national assembly over the matter of opposition leader, as they could not evolve consensus over one name as yet.

The small opposition parties and a group of PTI dissident members in the National Assembly have been asking the Speaker National Assembly to announce the schedule for the election of the leader of the opposition in the national assembly. The two parties have also submitted names of their contender in the national assembly secretariat for this position. The opposition parties [PML-Q and GDA) could not evolve consensus over a candidate, background discussion with the senior members of the opposition revealed.

The coalition government, currently engaged in dealing with the economic crisis and other political matters, would prefer a member from the PTI dissidents group. PTI MNA Raja Riaz would be a favourable member for the government on this position, said a member from treasury benches, desiring not to be named.



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