The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has nominated Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed as its parliamentary leader in the Punjab Assembly and the likely next opposition leader.
“The PTI will not do opposition for the sake of opposition. It will support the government in its good actions and make healthy criticisms of the wrong actions,” PTI Punjab President Ijaz Chaudhry told reporters, after a party meeting in Model Town on Tuesday. He added that the PTI would try to take all other opposition members in the Punjab Assembly on board.
Rasheed will likely be opposition leader, as the parliamentary leader of the largest opposition party gets that honour. When the assembly is called to meet, Rasheed will have to show his support to the speaker, after which he will be notified as opposition leader.
Rasheed told reporters that he would follow the party line in the Punjab Assembly and would play the role of a mature opposition leader. He said he wouldn’t use his position to settle scores and would take all opposition members on board.
Chaudhry, the PTI Punjab president, expressed reservations about the elections at 15 National Assembly and five Punjab Assembly seats in the province. These are: NA-57 ni Attock; NA-81 and NA-85 in Faisalabad; NA-86 in Jhang; NA-93 in Toba Tek Singh; NA-118, NA-120, NA-122, NA-125, NA-127 and NA-128 in Lahore; NA-135 in Sheikhupura; NA-168 and NA-170 in Vehari; and NA-190 in Bahawalnagar; PP-7 in Rawalpindi; PP-68 in Faisalabad; PP-160 in Lahore; PP-184 in Kasur; and PP-281 in Bahawalnagar.
“These are the constituencies where we think rigging took place,” Chaudhry said, adding that those out on the streets protesting against this had a right to do so.
However, he hinted that the party had accepted the election results in the Punjab. “We will lodge our complaints with the chief election commissioner and write to the chief justice of Pakistan. This will be to give them our recommendations to stop rigging in the future elections. We will sit in opposition and play an important role,” he said.
PTI Punjab General Secretary Dr Yasmeen Rashid and MPA-elect Mian Aslam Iqbal were present at the briefing.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2013.
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