Raja Riaz becomes Leader of Opposition in NA

Asim Yasin
Saturday, May 21, 2022

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf has declared dissident Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member Raja Riaz as the opposition leader, who enjoys the confidence of 16 Members of the National Assembly (MNAs).

Sardar Ghous Buksh Mehar of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) had the support of six members, including three of the GDA and as many of the Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PMLQ). Earlier, PMLQ’s candidate Chaudhry Hussain Elahi had withdrawn his application for the post in support of Ghous Buksh Mehar.

The NA speaker, in pursuance of Rule 39 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly 2007, declared the name of the Leader of the Opposition. A notification to this effect was issued by the National Assembly Secretariat on Friday.

Announcing the appointment of opposition leader in the National Assembly in his chamber at the Parliament House, NA Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf said the announcement was made in the National Assembly on Friday and asked the aspirants for the post to show the strength of their support with signatures of the opposition members.

“The speaker said that the verification of signatures was done after Ghous Buksh Mehar, Raja Riaz, and Hussain Elahi submitted their nomination papers for the post,” he said.The speaker said the house had received the support of 16 members from the opposition for Raja Riaz and six for Sardar Ghous Buksh Mehar of the GDA. However, PMLQ’s Chaudhry Hussain Elahi withdrew his name in favour of Ghous Baksh Mehar. After verification of signatures, the speaker declared Raja Riaz as the opposition leader.

Raja Riaz had also remained the opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly from the PPP during Shehbaz Sharif government from 2010 to 2013.With the appointment of Raja Riaz as the opposition leader in the National Assembly, the issue of consultation on appointment of chairman NAB, re-composition of the standing committees of the National Assembly and also of the Public Accounts Committee is likely to be sped up.