ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Monday formally challenged the Pakistan People’s Party’s move to nominate Senator Sherry Rehman for the slot of the leader of position in the Senate, terming it a violation of rules of the House.

PTI Senator Azam Khan Swati in a letter written to Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani has claimed that the list of lawmakers supporting Senator Rehman contravened the “Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012”. Senator Swati is also a nominee of the PTI for the oposition leader slot.

Last week, Senator Rehman submitted her nomination papers for the leader of the opposition in the Upper House of Parliament with signatures of 33 senators that included lawmakers from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and independent members of Balochistan. Senator Swati in his letter argued that the independent lawmakers under the rules should first declare either they want to sit on the treasury or the opposition benches. “After exercising this option, they should be allowed to support a candidate for the leader of the opposition,” he said.

Swati said that Senator Rehman was “creating the wrong impression that perhaps she has qualified herself for the position after submitting signatures of lawmakers under Rule 16 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012. While referring to Rule 51(1)”. He said that “those senators being elected as independent must submit in writing to the Senate chairman and exercise their option to join the treasury or opposition benches within seven days after taking the oath — meaning they have till March 22, excluding holidays, to exercise this first option”. The PTI senator said that after this, independents and FATA senators will be able to exercise their second option to submit a name for the leader of the opposition

Earlier, the PTI demanded from the PPP to withdraw its nominee, as it (PTI) being the second largest position party, had not been taken on board before taking the decision. The PTI that voted for the PPP candidate in the elections for the Senate deputy chairman claims that it has the right for the slot of leader of the opposition.