ISLAMBAD: After playing its cards astutely for the slot of chairman Senate, the Pakistan Peoples Party on Wednesday moved to finalise its alignment in the Upper House of the Parliament.
The party has decided to continue with Aitzaz Ahsan as the leader of the opposition in the Senate, while Senator Saeed Ghani, a relatively younger face for the party, will be its chief whip.
Ghani confirmed this while talking to The Express Tribune on Wednesday.
Read: Rubina Irfan emerges as strong candidate for Senate’s deputy chairperson
Though PPP's strength shrunk in terms of numbers in the Upper Hosue, it remains the largest party in the Senate. The PPP had 40 Senators, 21 of whom retired today (Wednesday). It grabbed eight seats in the March 5 polls -- seven from Sindh and one from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. A senator elected independently from Balochistan has also joined PPP, taking its strength to 28.
The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has 26 seats of in the 104-member House. The delay approach and failure to muster the support of smaller parties has already cost the ruling party key offices of the chairman and deputy chairman Senate.
The move by the PPP has left little room for other parties to maneuver, and is likely to be accepted by other opposition parties.
Read: PM gives nod to Raza Rabbani's nomination as Senate chairman
The chairman Senate, who will be formally elected on Thursday, will appoint the leader of the opposition if he feels that the candidate for the slot enjoys support of the majority of the opposition.
Given the numbers in the House, opposition groups will be the driving seat in the Upper House for the next three years.
Rabbani resigns from party office
Pending his election as the chairman of the Senate, Raza Rabbani on Wednesday tendered his resignation as the additional secretary general of PPP.
Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said that as the unanimous candidate for the office of chairman, as per democratic traditions, Mian Raza Rabbani tendered his resignation as additional secretary general of the party.
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