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Friday Mar 26 2021
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PPP's Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani declared Senate Opposition leader

Senior PP leader Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani.

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani on Friday notified Senator Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani as Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House after the PPP nominated him for the slot with the support of 30 lawmakers.

“In pursuance of Rule 16 (3) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012, the Chairman Senate has been pleased to declare Senator Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, with effect from 26th March, 2021,” read the notification issued by the Senate Secretariat.

Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani earlier today filed the nomination papers for the slot, according to pictures shared by PPP Senator Rubina Khalid on Twitter.

PML-N’s Azam Nazir Tarrar, according to reports, had the support of 21 Opposition senators while JUI-F, which has five senators, did not support any candidate.

Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani had secured the support of 30 Opposition senators for the prized post which had been a matter of contention between the PML-N and the PPP.

Talking to the media after submitting the request, Senator Sherry Rehman said the PPP's request has the signatures of 21 senators from the party, two from the ANP, one from the Jamat-e-Islami, two from erstwhile Fata and four members of the upper house from Dilawar Khan's independent group.

Read more: PPP vs PML-N over Senate opposition leader slot

Speaking on reports of the contentious issue spelling doom for the Opposition alliance, Rehman said the move was not the PDM's funeral but the PPP's right.

However, Gillani said he was not aware how many senators are supporting him Sherry Rehman has called him here.

As per the rules, the Chairman Senate declares a member as Leader of the Opposition having the support of the majority of the members in opposition within 15 days of the election of chairman and deputy chairman.

Widening rift between PML-N and PPP

The two main Opposition parties — the PPP and the PML-N — were at loggerheads over the matter with Maryam Nawaz saying multiple times that the PDM leaders had decided that the Senate chairman would be from the PPP, deputy chairman from the JUI-F and the Opposition leader’s slot would go to her party.

Read more: JUI-F dismisses reports claiming Fazl proposed Gillani as Senate opposition leader

PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had also said that PML-N should get the post and reportedly talked to PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari to respect the decision taken by the PDM leaders.

The PPP, however, responded by saying the situation is no more the same after the March 12 debacle in which Gillani lost the election despite having the majority in the upper house.

How the Opposition leader in Senate is selected

Declaration of Leader of the Opposition.

— (1) After the election of Chairman and Deputy Chairman under Article 60 of the Constitution and at any time thereafter the Chairman shall declare Leader of the Opposition within fifteen days.

(2) The Chairman shall inform the members about the date, time and place for submission of a name for the Leader of the Opposition under their signatures:

Provided that an independent member including a member from FATA, elected to the Senate, who has not given his option to join the opposition benches, shall not be eligible to support any member for the office of Leader of the Opposition.

(3) The Chairman shall declare a member as Leader of the Opposition having the support of the majority of the members in opposition:

Provided that if two or more members have equal support for the office of Leader of the Opposition, the member belonging to the party having the largest numerical strength in the Opposition to the Government, shall be declared by the Chairman, as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

(4) A Leader of the Opposition so declared shall lose the office of the Leader of the Opposition as and when the majority of the members in Opposition withdraw their support.

(5) As a result of loss of support under sub-rule (4) the Chairman may declare another member as Leader of the Opposition, under this rule.