Opposition agrees on fielding joint candidates for PM and Speaker

Opposition agrees on fielding joint candidates for PM and Speaker

The opposition forces, including mainstream parties and smaller groups, on Thursday formed a 16-member committee to nominate joint candidates for the prime minister, speaker and deputy speaker’s slots.

“We have formed a working committee that would formulate terms of references [ToRs] for fielding candidates for the prime minister, speaker and deputy speaker positions in the National Assembly,” Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Sherry Rehman told the media after conclusion of second episode of the all parties conference (APC).

The meeting, held at the residence of former speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in Islamabad, once again unanimously rejected the results of the July 25 general elections and termed it “highly manipulated election results”.

“The National Assembly speaker would be fielded from PPP with the deputy speaker from MMA leadership and the PM slot to be filled by the PML-N,” she added.

Hitting hard at the poll supervisory body, the PPP senator said: “We have rejected the rigged election results and we also rejected the Election Commission of Pakistan [ECP].”

The ECP’s Results Transmission System [RTS] was systematically collapsed for meddling, she added. “We have protested against the meddling.”

Without naming the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Sherry Rehman said: “One political party was elevated over others,” adding, “We believe that elections should be free, fair and impartial. But since we are here after a democratic struggle, we would stand by democratic forces and use it at every platform, both inside and outside parliament.”

Speaking to the reporters, PML-N senior leader Ahsan Iqbal said: “It is for the first time in the political history of the country that all major parties have teamed up as a force to ensure democracy.”

While pointing out the PTI government-in-waiting, the former interior minister said: “We would try our best to thwart this puppet government.”

“We are all democratic forces and we have decided that we would go to parliament and carry on our protest,” said Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Secretary General Liaquat Baloch.

The ECP was given the task to conduct impartial elections while the caretaker government was responsible for supervising it, he added. “However, the elections were hijacked by other forces.”

Expressing his resolve to keep defending the democracy, the JI leader went on to say: “We would keep defending democracy and carry on the struggle.”

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