Allied parties to express concerns to ruling PTI
ISLAMABAD – Since the opposition has turned down government’s offer of deputy chairman slot, the allied partners will express serious concerns to the ruling party for offering slot without taking them into confidence.
The senators from the ruling clique will hold an important meeting today [Thursday] with PTI senior leadership to discuss the possibilities of winning their unanimous candidates.
The ruling party [PTI] has so far not formally announced its candidate for the office of deputy chairman, keeping the slot open and placing itself in a better bargaining position. The allied partners will express reservations for even lightly offering JUI-F’s member Abdul Ghafoor Haideri deputy chairman slot, background discussions with members of government coalition partners. Sources said that the ruling party would formally offer a deputy chairman slot to its allied partner to contest in the elections for the top position. The allied partners in consultation with PTI will decide their candidate, they said.
MQM-P, main coalition partner from Sindh, will express reservations on some of the matters including notification on population census and their missing workers issue. Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) would also express reservations to PTI for not supporting its candidate Syed Sadaruddin Shah Rashdi, in the recent Senate elections. GDA MPAs had also written a letter to the prime minister, in which they mentioned the list of PTI MPAs in the Sindh Assembly who did not vote for Rashdi.
On the other hand, the joint opposition on the platform of PDM has announced the name of Yousaf Raza Gilani as their candidate for the top slot of Senate. Gillani, in a surprise move during Senate polls, defeated government’s candidate Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. The government side has nominated its candidate Sadiq Sanjrani. According to PDM information secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain, it was decided that the candidate for Senate deputy chairman would be from JUI-F (Abdul Ghafor Haideri) while the leader of the opposition would be from the PML-N.
Since the ruling clique invited coalition partners to discuss elections on the top slot of the Senate, the allies will also share a set of demands to be implemented after the Senate polls. Following the March 3 elections, the government, its allies and five independent senators have a combined strength of 48 in the upper house while the opposition has 51 senators.
Political experts viewed that the government and the opposition would continue holding parleys till the Senate polls. The government and opposition would keep close eye on their members to ensure vote in their favour.