ISLAMABAD - A joint action committee formed by the joint opposition alliance received names of candidates for the slot of Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Leader of the House from the respective parties on Friday after a Multi-Party Conference (MPC) on Thursday assigned them the task to finalize names.
Meanwhile, the joint opposition has finalized the protest plan against the rigged elections and on August 8 all the parties would be staging a protest sit-in in front of the Election Commission of Pakistan and would demand the resignation of the Chief Election Commissioner and all the four members of the commission.
In the MPC, it was decided that the slot of Speaker would go to the PPP while MMA would get the Deputy Speaker slot. As PML-N has more seats than the rest of the parties in the alliance so it was given the option to field a candidate for the slot of the Leader of the House.
A senior member of the joint action committee confirmed on Friday that the candidates of the alliance parties for the positions of Speaker, Deputy Speaker and leader of the House were finalized but refused to share it with media under a strategy as they would announce the names on the day of their respective elections.
Sources aware of the development informed The Nation that for the position of Speaker National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah’s name was considered as the most likely choice while for the slot of Leader of the House either Shehbaz Sharif or Khawaja Mohammad Asif would be fielded.
In case of opposition parties failed to get their candidates elected, then the PML-N would be giving the candidate for Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly and again the party leadership would decide from among Shehbaz Sharif and Asif for the slot.
In case of bringing in Asif as Opposition Leader in the National Assembly, the party chief Shehbaz Sharif would be holding the position of Parliamentary leader of his party in the National Assembly. And in case Shehbaz Sharif would become the Leader of Opposition, he would also be retaining the position of the parliamentary leader as well.
After the action committee meeting held here, Muttahida Majlis-s-Amal's Liaquat Baloch said the opposition would disclose its candidates on the day of election for the prime minister, the speaker and the deputy speaker of the National Assembly.
He said the joint action committee of allied parties, during Friday's meeting, held the consultation on a strategy to protest [against alleged rigging of elections]. Baloch said they would not announce names of their candidates as per a strategy.
Sources aware of the deliberation and discussion between the members of joint action committee said that the component parties were not yet on the same page on the protest plan as the PPP had opposed staging a protest on the day of election for the Leader of the House.
The PPP took the stance that a protest on the day of election for Leader of the House would be ineffective, they said.
It has suggested the opposition to stage a full-fledged protest on the next day, the sources added.