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PTI chief Imran Khan. — File photo
PTI chief Imran Khan. — File photo

ISLAMABAD, May 12: PTI chairman Imran Khan may climb down over his words of going solo in the National Assembly if he wants to become leader of opposition after shattering of his dream to become prime minister after Saturday’s polls.

In other words, he will have to negotiate with the PPP or the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, that if the two parties also decide to sit on the opposition benches, to gain their support to get the opposition leader’s office.

The PTI chairman, in his election campaign and interviews, has said in clear-cut words that he would not join hands with the PPP, the PML-N and the MQM – the parties which remained in power at the centre or in provinces during the past five years. He even once said that he would prefer to sit on the opposition benches if he had no option but to form the government with the support of any of these parties.

Mr Khan is being presently tipped in TV talk shows as the future opposition leader, but the number of seats the parties have bagged so far, according to unofficial results, clearly shows that if the PTI chairman stands by his words and does not negotiate with the PPP or the MQM, then he cannot get that position, according to the assembly rules. In this case, the office can be attained by a joint nominee of the PPP and the MQM.

The Rule 39(2) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly 2007 says: “After the ascertainment of the leader of the house, the speaker shall inform the members about the date, time and place for submission of a name for the leader of the opposition under their signature.

“The speaker shall declare a member as leader of the opposition having the greatest numerical strength after verification of the signatures of the members.”

The rule was amended in 2007 when the speaker of the 2002 National Assembly, Chaudhry Amir Hussain, did not appoint any member as the opposition leader for a whole year since there was no mention of a timeframe to do so.

A controversy arose when Mr Hussain declared Maulana Fazlur Rehman of the defunct Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) opposition leader despite having the support of lesser members than those of another opposition alliance – the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD) – using his discretionary powers to appoint any member for the post who according to his own assessment enjoyed the support of the majority of opposition members.

Now the speaker no more enjoys discretionary powers and is bound to seek nominations for the office in writing from the members sitting on the opposition benches.

When contacted, members from both the PPP and the MQM said it was too early to make any comment on the issue since the results of the elections were still incomplete. They said they could not make any comments without discussing the issue in their parliamentary party meetings.

The PTI chairman in his speeches and interviews criticises almost all the leaders of other parties – be it the PML-N, the PPP, the JUI-F or the MQM. During his campaign, he not only accused the previous cabinet members in the PPP-led coalition government of committing huge corruption, but also declared that he would not take oath from President Asif Ali Zardari if elected as prime minister.

He had also dubbed the MQM as a “terrorist” party in his several speeches and interviews. Political observers believe that it will be interesting to see whether Imran Khan will sacrifice the office of the leader of opposition for the sake of his commitment and credibility or will show flexibility and make a compromise to get the slot which is considered to be the second most coveted office in the National Assembly after the prime minister.

Comments (93) Closed

Wang Lee May 13, 2013 11:47pm
Khan keep your words.. People will vote again for you .. just be patient.. sit back , relax and enjoy the show.. Pay more attention to the KP and PTI
satti May 14, 2013 07:27am
yes all those places where IK party has lost should be re electioned because only this is the democratic process, "otherwise the youth will be told to have sit ins every where". SHAME !! We wrongly estimated this party as a better force then other.
Rizwan May 14, 2013 07:08am
Our dilemma is " had we accepted results after so much interest of people in elections which was never seen before and yet PML N wins. We don't want such democracy where true representation of people is hijacked by some parties like PMLN. No Govt including Military Rulers provided us with a fool proof election system and We should stand first to get the one. We should not accept these results and come out and support Demonstratos in Lahore, Karachi, Faisalabad. etc.
Capricorn May 14, 2013 01:14pm
Imran finally has the opportunity to prove that he can deliver in KP. He should concentrate on the well being of the second poorest province in the Country. We will all judge him by how PTI performs in KP and not by his tall Claims and rhetoric of solving problems. Start with KP and show us what you can do. Talk is cheap and a waste of time.
Saqi May 14, 2013 07:02am
PTI should now also act like a mature party and think what went wrong in elections. PTI failed to penetrate in small cities and villages. Imran khan also targeted personality of Nawaz Sharif too much and people in pujab think that he supports Zardari. Now PTI is in power in KPK, it should demand changes in election process where there are always space for rigging. Change come slowly. One thing more PTI should not give statements like poor people cast vote on one Naan as i watch on TV last night. It would also create bad image for PTI. Rather PTI should penetrate in small villages and towns to deliver its message. Change would come slow but it would come.
Fahad May 14, 2013 12:56pm
100% agreed Omer. This is the thing that differciates this party. No seeing the options it has. But seeing the trust of its followers and the commitments it has made.
Xulf May 14, 2013 02:56pm
Well it may be not be in next three generation that Pakistan will repeat that feat so please dont malign something which is not malignable!!
Xulf May 14, 2013 02:49pm
Spot on...He need to learn how to lie, loot and plunder. He should also quickly learn that having no principles apart from getting power is worth pursuing. There is news for you Shahpur Sahib, you stay with the same corrupt system but a sizable majority of Pakistanis have seen an alternative...and we know thats our only salvation and in time you may also realise there is no shortcuts to achieve higher goals!!
farhan May 14, 2013 02:25pm
Amir Wasim (author of this article), can you please confirm whether Imran Khan said that he will not be joining hands with MQM/PPP in opposition. Imran only talked about not joining hands with the above parties in forming a government. He rather sit in opposition as per last three lines of Para 3 of your article. Reproduced below for your benefit
HNY2013 May 14, 2013 02:23pm
HNY2013 May 14, 2013 02:23pm
A reality check for you. The MAN has a cervical spine injury. Instead of making comments here why dont u go out and protest. Scared ???
Masoud May 14, 2013 08:39am
It was the general prediction much before the election that in all probability a hung parliament will come into effect after the polls. Imran Khan did not do any homework to face such a situation. He only considered a win win situation. Except for Jamiat e Islami, IK categorically rejected the idea of coming into alliance with any of the big parties. Now what will he do to become an opposition leader. Those supported Imran Khan are in a dilemma, for them everything seems wasted. Imran should learn from his mistakes. All the comments appearing here are from general public so Imran should pay heed to them
Shafqet Ahmad May 13, 2013 09:48am
Does Imran Khan needs to be the leader of opposition in the most corrupt chamber in the world? He is better of starting the tsunami through a massive civil-disobedience campaign. People of Pakistan are with him and believe that this Oxford-educated leader is the most honest leader compared to any other leader in Pakistan. Everybody knows, you cannot stop tsunami with bey-imani!
M. Asghar May 13, 2013 09:48am
Imran does not need to compromise on his principles and still sit on the opposition benches and be an effective voice in the house.
Syed Hussain Akbari May 13, 2013 09:56am
Enter as a strong and good opposition leader Imran. It will be benificial for the country. With possible government leadership in KPK and as a good opposition leader you will be a very shining star in the future of Pakistan. One advice; start already today to make a very strong second line, This you must have learnt by now, May God bless you !!
Furqan May 13, 2013 10:58am
Imran Khan, we pledge to work for you till a naya Pakistan is made. I am sorry we couldnt spread your message everywhere, but its not over. We will not abandon u...This is our promise. May you succeed...We all love you
azhar May 13, 2013 11:08am
He may even tell PMLN that PTI can support them in centre if in KPK PTI is allowed to make government. PTI may also ask for full control of Ministry of Railway and turn it round and then next election PTI can win.
A Sheikh May 13, 2013 11:25am
I don't think you can start another campaign so soon and burn out your supporters. Watch how the new government governs and then decide your course of action.
Baig May 13, 2013 12:48pm
Take my words now - Imran Khan will NEVER compromise his principle and I find it sickening that so many people are saying that he should show flexibility. PLEASE, you want him to become one of the forty thieves rather than remain an out casted prince - we the core PTI activists know what we would prefer and so does Khan.
Ahmad May 13, 2013 12:50pm
Do your best in KPK to show your Administration ..........No one can stop you.Allah is with you.
Zulfiqar Baig May 13, 2013 11:45am
We want Imran Khan to be opposition leader. Only IK can stop corruption of PML(N).
AR May 13, 2013 11:56am
I will say Imran should never think about being opposition leader. Instead he should focus all his energies to make KPK a model province to tell the people what he means by NAYA Pakistan. This is the only way forward. We stand with you.
noorilhuda May 14, 2013 12:53pm
IK should not take it. He will be a star and get more publicity in the NA than any other member in any case - even if PM Nawaz Sharif comes through the door, all eyes would report on IK only, so there is no need to 'ask' for the slot. MQM is a fair-weather friend and hence undependable. PPP is in no shape but both would like to embarrass IK by first nominating him and then bringing a vote of no-confidence against him.
Ahmed May 13, 2013 12:17pm
Imran Khan we are with you, this temporary things cannot stop us from achieving our abmition. We will make Naya Pakistan In Sha Allah.
Abdulrehman Shaukat May 13, 2013 12:24pm
IK- Please do not compromise your dignity and credibility for this position. Focus on KP. May you succeed in your ambitions.
Javeed May 13, 2013 12:43pm
Imran does not need any body's sympathy or advice. He is a leader of far more caliber & standard than others. It is very Unfortunate, not for Imran but for Pakistan that he couldn't reach PM's office. The higher voter turnout is because of him. He gave people hope & brought the belief back which Pakistanis had long lost. I guess whole world knows his worth except Pakistan. May he live long & work for Naya Pakistan. I don't hope but i am sure that he will stand by his words & principles.
shahroz alvi May 13, 2013 01:00pm
imrain khan is only leader this time who deserive the seate of prime minester of pakistan.
sameer May 13, 2013 01:03pm
The election result showed how many of Pakistani people are with Imran Khan. If he stay reluctant from the opposition seat, I can call him a true patriot. Because there is no way ( if PPP and MQM are most corrupt ) that by joining hand with them for opposition , he can be stayed out of the corruption. and that he knows. So if he make league with any of them, then my advice to Pakistani people dont have any hope in Imran Khan.
Imran Baloch May 13, 2013 01:26pm
I was shattered to hear opinion of people today who voted for most dominant party of Karachi....... I am disappointed and feel that dream of naya pakistan will always be a dream.
kawsarkhan May 13, 2013 01:43pm
PTI leader may not become leader of opposition nether part of the government, he ll be in betwwen these two side's.
zohaib May 13, 2013 02:14pm
I will prefer a solo flight of eagle rather than a large group of crows
Khan May 13, 2013 02:22pm
time for Imran khan to lead a protest in Islamabad rejecting the unfair election. we need a new election.
Khan May 13, 2013 02:26pm
Imran khan can either be CM of KP or turn Kalma Chowk Lahore into Pakistan's Tahrir Square but the Pakistani people are cowards, they won't come out in force. The election was a sham and we need a revolution, not five more years of misery.
Seth May 13, 2013 02:30pm
IK is a man of principles and integrity. He can play the role of opposition while being in the public. He does not need the crutches of PPP and MQM to become an Opposition Leader.
Syed May 13, 2013 02:55pm
For opposition you need not take the seat of opposition. Just be yourself, the world is for you Imran.
jd shami May 13, 2013 02:58pm
Accept the results, people have spoken, quit dreaming.
Ali May 13, 2013 03:01pm
Well my friend you will be eating your words pretty soon, since it is already negotiation with JI and Shaerpao group (which was also a part of PPP coalition government) in KPK to form a coalition government. The irony os this whole situation is PTI will be negotiating with JUI-F.
Syed May 13, 2013 03:06pm
If only the talk shows can bring such a huge revolution for PTI, what is the meaning of being an opposition leader in a corrupt system. You automatically are an opposition, just be yourself Imran. Vehemently oppose them at all forums.
Syed May 13, 2013 03:07pm
You cannot become an opposition leader by securing the seat, people are with you Imran, you are a natural opposition leader this time. Now it is time to be yourself.
Zack Khan May 13, 2013 03:13pm
KPK is the only province with some sense.
zisan May 13, 2013 03:42pm
Imran sahab,please don't compromise.Next time,you will be the prime minister of Pakistan,inshaallah.
Nafisa May 13, 2013 03:51pm
Politicians are always critical of other parties but for the sake of the constitional rules, they have to make alliances with parties whom they criticized during election campaign. This is normal through out the world. Democracy is to agree to disagree, I don't see any dilemma if Imran Khan allies with one of the parties to become the leader of the opposition.
Hira Shah May 13, 2013 04:08pm
Let Imran rule KP for a year or so and he and his party will also join the inefficient and corrupt leader of Pak
saeed May 13, 2013 04:10pm
I think its time for IK to retire from politics. It is now proved politics is not his ball game. He quit cricket too late, please dont do the same in politics.
Awais Syed May 13, 2013 04:29pm
Imran should leave the politics and let the people of Pakistan be on their own with the leaders that they have elected. Like it is said, we are a nation that does same thing again and again and yet expects different results. What a shame!
Masoud May 13, 2013 05:06pm
In my opinion Imran did commit few mistakes while preparing to go for polls & also some direct action narratives. Election in Pakistan has gone through a mind set for the last 60 plus years where, whenever elections were held influential of the constituencies played a vital role. First the inter party election gave many unknown personalities a chance to get a party ticket to participate in the poll, this arrangement could not be digested by many in the party rank, so the result was obvious. Second the blunt discloser by Imran about a very sensitive action he intended to take after being elected caused a serious concern. Imran should have shone more maturity while making promises .
Rashid May 13, 2013 05:28pm
What principle are you talking of? PTI have lower number of seats then PPP. So leader of opposition is the democratic right of PPP. If Imran is democratic enough then he should just govern KPK and sit quietly on an opposition bench of NA. Moreover, I don't think MQM will go to PTI considering their chance of goernement in Sindh and after the speech of Altaf Hussain yesterday..
Rashid May 13, 2013 05:33pm
lol.. Whn you would stop living in a utopian world. Just two days ago the whole Nation voted PML-N to power. IK was a pthan so he got some seats from KPK. Forget this national leader wala theory. Grow up and accept the election results.
Ali May 13, 2013 05:37pm
Inshallah ALLAH, PTI will guide Pakistan and it's nation to developed country, despite the election was heavily rigged by PML and MQM.
Urfi May 13, 2013 05:55pm
Imran does not have to negotiate with MQM or PPP. He can negotiate with all other parties including independents. Even if he wins half of their support he will have enough "numbers" to be nominated as the opposition leader. JI and PML-Q already appear to be on-board. Sorry Amir Wasim, I don't see a dilemma here???
Faheem Larik May 13, 2013 06:02pm
I think getting PPP and MQM support in making an opposition leader should not be compared with making alliances in Government, opposition leader does not make compromises on ministries etc...I would say, he should get support....end of the a PTI supporter I do not expect IK to be completely aloof...when we can talk to Taliban, I think we can talk to MQM and PPPP.
teddy May 13, 2013 06:15pm
national assembly is not a cricket team, Imran khan can do nothing
Bilal May 13, 2013 06:19pm
well if IK can boycott 2008 elections on principles how can one think that he will compromise his position just to get the position of the opposition leader.However, I wish PTI would have won more seats if not for the rigging and play role of a stronger opposition. But now it's more important than becoming an opposition leader that IK makes KPK a model province for rest of the country.
MyHome May 13, 2013 06:24pm
but if the PPP and MQM joined hand then Imran will not be the opposition leadr my dear.
naseem May 13, 2013 06:38pm
the majority has spoken, admit it with grace. IK's policy to go after only Nawaz Shariff has backfired on him and the people have given more votes to PMLN and from all provinces.
Mo May 13, 2013 06:44pm
I agree 100% rather than squabble and fight over the position he ought to improve KP so much that no one will have a choice but to choose him, and inshallah in the next election he will do better by then the PML N would have failed miserably and the PPP will only be confined to certain sections of SIndh.
Asad May 13, 2013 06:59pm
Well I think independent people will join hands with PML-N. I want to see IK to safeguard our interest in National Assembly. MQM always join hands with party in power, same is the case of Molana Fazulrehman.
Hamid May 13, 2013 07:03pm
it is not a private business either, nor is it a "500 murabay" of land. there is no such thing as a "professional" politician. an assembly is supposed to be made up of a diverse set of people. i don't think imran khan's past experience as a cricketer has anything to do with him being a political leader. besides, he is more honest, hardworking and intelligent than the majority of the traditional politicians put together.
Zubair May 13, 2013 07:21pm
Knowing MQM, no doubt they will want to be IN govt, MQM is one of the few parties that come what may during elections, they are always IN govt! Also, just imagine if they were in opposition, Altaf Bhai would no doubt eat our ears everyday with one issue or another as heavily promoted by ARY, GEO airtime.
Qamar May 13, 2013 08:55pm
IK had said he will not form a collation government with any other party that had been part of last five years corruption. He never said not talking to them if he was in opposition.
Riaz May 13, 2013 09:34pm
I am not happy about the results.. KPK people only are aware of the current situation of the country and they rightly voted for the PTI to give them a chance. I am very much disappointed with Punjab results.. God bless our country and show us right path and give us the leader like Imran Khan.. I request Pakistani people to understand the politics and vote in the next election sensibly.
Ahmed Mustafa May 13, 2013 09:57pm
agree. IK is getting experience. inshaALLAH he will be all prepared for 2018. guys/gals, now time to work for whole of KPK, then 2018 will be time to work for whole of Pakistan. our action will speak itself. let us bring peace, normalcy, work, eithics in will trickle down the country.
Anam May 13, 2013 10:27pm
Teddy this is not a toy store.. your comment doesn't hold any truth to it
adnan May 13, 2013 10:37pm
Why would IK want to be the leader of opposition and what makes Dawn so sure that MQM will sit on opposition benches? PTI has a mandate in KPK and they would be better of focusing on that province. The worst choice IK can make right now is to team up with PPP and MQM.
Thoughtful May 13, 2013 10:37pm
Does IK even understand the Pakistani political system? It seems that he lives in a fantasy world and whatever comes in his mouth he says with no clue about realities and facts. His party was comprehensively beaten in the election and it is time to tone down and speak with some commonsense.
nocomment May 13, 2013 11:00pm
why is so anti PTI? Where was is exposing the corruption of the previous PPP government?
Syed May 14, 2013 12:16am
Imran Khan is always over confident. Never makes a back up plan. This is not cricket my friend.
Iqbal May 14, 2013 12:32am
People with your mind set and corrupt politicians have made Pakistan a failed state who believe IK cant run government or a country because its not a cricket team, But you all forget one important fact that governments are comprised of different departments and organisations and all politicians , unfortunately in Pakistan are incompetent and always failed to deliver. All these different departments can perform better if real technocrats are appointed to their specific departments. Civilians are fooled again and again by false promises and still believe that these parties with same approach can redefine Pakistan's future. For God sake, learn to appreciate if someone is performing any good to this troubled nation and none of the political parties or leaders have ever delivered in the past to make us a proud Nation or Pakistan a great country.
Obaid May 14, 2013 02:12am
There is an indication from the ECP that the re-election can take place both in Karachi and Hyderabad. If that happens then why not Lahore, Lodhran, Multan, Vihari and all the rigged constituencies. God willing there is still a possibility for PTI having IK as the leader of the opposition.
Saahil Allah Rakha May 14, 2013 02:17am
Larik sb., I wish rest of PTI and its supporters could think in the same way as you do.
Z May 14, 2013 02:17am
The man retires as a World Cup winning captain, and you're saying he retired too late? With this kind of ignorance, no wonder Pakistan doesn't appreciate the gem they have in Imran.
R Shah May 14, 2013 02:22am
IK should make PK a role model province for others to regret not making the right decision on May 11th, 2013.
UlHaq May 14, 2013 02:37am
If facebook and the internet could vote, PTI would win. Sadly, that's not the case. All the parties who won were able to connect with their voters at ground level and made sure they got the votes. They did their math well and made sure their message went through. (To me it even seems that PTI's message of negotiating with the Taliban and stopping drones resonated well with the Pashtuns well). And please don't forget that rigging is a part and parcel of elections in the entire sub continent; It happens every where and all the time. No use chastising the winners. Judging by the behavior of PTI workers, I am sure that given the chance, they would have done the same. It is time PTI wakes up to the reality of Pakistani politics, move away from television and computer screens, visit the slums and make sure they understand what the local people on ground really wants.
Shahpur May 14, 2013 03:40am
He has to educate himself and learn politics of Pakistan. Now election is over. .
Asghar May 14, 2013 04:20am
Imran should not compromise on his principles. Compromising on principles is not showing Flexibility and Maturity. Unfortunately everyone in our country has become accustomed to that and believe it is the right thing to do.
EmMoosa May 14, 2013 04:20am
The election compaign was something different than actually sitting in the parliament. IK should be more "politician" than whatelse has been until now. He has to shake hands with MQM and PPPP for a more powerful and outspoken opposition. I do not think both the parties will not negotiate on the slot. They would also like to have some one like IK as the leader of the opposition to give PML-N hard time.
malole May 14, 2013 04:55am
Inshalla mashalla dont do anything.
malole May 14, 2013 04:57am
Looking at the attitude of his party no one should join with him to either form a govt in KP or be the opposition leader.
Syed Khurram Ali May 14, 2013 05:04am
Imran Khan can do everything he is the only sincere Pakistani Politician ...
sameer May 14, 2013 05:22am
The election result showed how many of Pakistani people are with Imran Khan. If he stay reluctant from the opposition seat, I can call him a true patriot. Because there is no way ( if PPP and MQM are most corrupt ) that by joining hand with them for opposition , he can be stayed out of the corruption. and that he knows. So if he make league with any of them, then my advice to Pakistani people dont have any hope in Imran Khan.
zahid May 14, 2013 05:33am
For me, the top priority for IK should be to direct his wholesome effort to live upto the expectation and faith of the people of KPK who have shown to the rest of provinces that they are not slaves of PLM(N) or PPP. By making sure that the affairs of the KPK are managed solely for the well being and welfare of masses will further raise his credibility and integrity as a visionary and pragmatic leader. KPK is infested with all the problems and challenges one can think of i,e, poor literacy rate, worst law and order, impoverished social conditions and crashed economy etc. Certainly, IK has a golden opportunity to prove his iconic leadership by addressing these mischiefs and evils and turn KPK into a role model for the rest of the country.
tariq jehanzeb May 14, 2013 05:35am
imran khan should learn maturity from the present election results.So in politics options should not be closed. if he showed patience and horizantal attude with all the political parties,then he would be the opposition leader.
Omer May 14, 2013 09:45am
Great advice! be part of the corrupt system which he is fighting against. It does not matter if becomes the opposition leader officially. We all know he (PTI) will be real opposition in the parliament.
Zafar Abbas (@Zafar_A) May 14, 2013 09:59am
I think both MQM and PP shall nominate Imran for the post. We all know he could really keep the PML on track. Anyway the process to judge the parties on performance has just started.
Mumtaz May 14, 2013 10:16am
Imran should come out of the dreamworld and realize that politics need flexibility, accomodation and good temperament to face the odds. Without compromising on his credibility as a "clean" politician, he can still work with PPP and MQM on a common agenda for the betterment of the people.
Habib ur Rehman May 14, 2013 11:24am
Zafar Sb, excellent thought, but do you think that the status quo parties are patriotic enough to conduct such a NOBLE GESTURE!
khanm May 14, 2013 12:11pm
This is the true test for Imran Khan. Election is lost nothing is lost character is lost every thing is lost
HNY2013 May 14, 2013 02:14pm
Politics make stranger n new bed fellows.
HNY2013 May 14, 2013 02:21pm
what should he do till the question sir
AZ May 14, 2013 03:52pm
IK should be careful here .... Opposition leader is not the seat he is looking for .... no negotiations no joint venture if PPP or MQM decide on themselves to make IK opposition leader .... their wish otherwise make their own who cares .... Its called settling for something ... & determining your worth .... IK's worth is more than that for sure .... A leader is a leader he leads even he is in power or not .... PPP & MQM should elect him to represent them in NA by themselves ....
AZ May 14, 2013 03:56pm
You are right ... I think they will focus on that ... without being in government /opposition or even in NA you can never focus on small cities ....
logical May 14, 2013 04:19pm
So you want PPP and MQM to support Imran but you don't want Imran to ask any support from them? How the heck is it going to work?
Tahir Ali May 14, 2013 04:28pm
Saqi Sab being a PTI supporter and voter, I totally agree with your thoughts. I also want to say yes that PTI lost election only for two reasons that it could not reach in towns and villages and or too much direct attacks on other leadership caused the damage. One think I must want to convey that being a critic will never help to deliver rather showing the actual performance in reality grounds will automatically deliver the message of PTI without taking any risk of un-necessary criticism. I also agree with Khanm that "lost character is lost every thing" Imran should stand with his words. He still can manage a watching eye in closed without being an Opposition Leader with the support of other parties which have a custom to play a traditional Lie Based Politics