PPP leader Yousuf Raza Gilani filed his nomination papers for the slot of opposition leader in the Senate on Friday. — Reuters/File
PPP’s Yousuf Raza Gilani was declared as leader of the opposition in the upper house of parliament on Friday, according to a notification issued by the Senate Secretariat.
Gilani, a former prime minister, had recently been elected to the Senate after a highly contentious poll, in which he defeated the ruling PTI’s candidate, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh.
He had subsequently contested the election for the Senate chairman’s post as a candidate of the 10-party opposition alliance, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), which he lost to the PTI-backed Sanjrani after seven of his votes were rejected by the presiding officer.
The opposition had immediately challenged the result of the election but were overruled by the presiding officer who said the votes had been rejected because they were not stamped correctly.
Later, the Islamabad High Court also threw out a petition by Gilani that challenged results of the Senate chairman election, noting that proceedings of the upper house of parliament were “immune from the interference” of the high court.
Earlier on Friday, Gilani, along with Senator Sherry Rehman, had reached the Parliament House and met Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, to whom the nomination papers were submitted.
Rehman said that the application had been filed with signatures from a total of 30 senators – 21 from the PPP, two from the Awami National Party, one from the Jamaat-i-Islami, two from members belonging to Fata and four from the independent group of Dilawar Khan.
PPP sources identified Senators Hidayatullah Khan, Hilal-ur-Rehman, Mushtaq Ahmed and Nawabzada Arbab Umar Farooq as some of the names who had signed the agreement.
Rehman rubbished claims that the nomination signified the “funeral” of the PDM, adding that “this is the right of the PPP, we have 21 members.”