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Pervaiz resigns as Leader of Opposition in NA

September 15, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Sept 14: Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi tendered his resignation from the position on Sunday in what was described here as a sudden and unexpected move.

The resignation followed reports about a possible power-sharing deal between the PML-Q and the PPP at the Centre and in Punjab.

In a letter addressed to Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza, Mr Elahi said: “It seems that the slot of the leader of opposition is being sought by those who till Sept 13 were part of the federal government coalition and who, interestingly, remain allies in the government with the same party (PPP) in Punjab which they plan to support in the centre.”

The PML-N had applied for the post last week after deciding to sit in the opposition in the National Assembly.

“I was lawfully and democratically elected as leader of opposition … but I have noticed that recent events are perhaps forcing you to reconsider this issue.”He said: “Despite this dichotomy, I do not want to get involved in any controversy and in the interest of smooth working of parliament and with a view not to embarrass your position as speaker I hereby tender my resignation as leader of opposition in the National Assembly.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the PML-N criticised Chaudhry Parvaiz Elahi for resigning from the position without admitting that it was because of the ongoing talks of a deal with the PPP.

Sher Azam Khan, a close aide of PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif, told Dawn from Lahore that the Punjab government was “strong and stable and no amount of undemocratic moves can harm it”.

He said Mr Sharif was leaving for Umra along with his family on Sept 18 and was expected to meet Saudi leaders.