Leader of Opposition in Senate will be from PML-N: Maryam

Staff Reporter

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said on Sunday that the leader of the opposition in the Senate would be from the PML-N and that this was a “principled decision” which had already been agreed upon by the Pakistan Democratic Movement leadership.

Her remarks come days after the PPP formally lodged its protest with the PML-N leadership at the highest level over the latter’s decision to nominate Azam Nazeer Tarar for the office of opposition leader in the Senate.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore with Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Maryam said all member parties of the PDM had agreed that they would vote for PPP’s Yousuf Raza Gilani for the Senate chairman election and JUI-F’s
Abdul Ghafoor Haideri for the deputy chairman election, while the opposition leader would be from the PML-N.

“Because this principled decision has already been taken, […] there is no room for change in this after the victory or loss of anyone,” she said, referring to Gilani’s loss in the Senate chairman election.

Maryam added that the PDM had not decided that the decision regarding the opposition leader would be subject to change if the other opposition candidates lost the election for the other Senate posts.

“A principled decision has been taken and I hope that according to the principle, all parties will stand by this decision.”

The PML-N leader said Rehman was in agreement with her stance along with other parties of the opposition alliance.

She said if anyone was under the impression that any flexibility could be created in the decision then “they can be convinced too that a principled decision has already been taken so there is no need to reopen it”.

Answering a question, Maryam said the PML-N and JUI-F had both successfully held rallies and protests with considerable numbers in the past and therefore they didn’t need anyone else, however, “it would be better if the entire opposition is united on the demands of the people […] and should do their representation together.”

In his remarks, Rehman said the PPP was a “big party” and an important component of the PDM so they would continue to engage with it to resolve any disagreements or grievances the party might have.