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PTI’s Omar Ayub made opposition leader in National Assembly

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ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq on Tuesday declared senior PTI leader Omar Ayub Khan as the leader of the opposition in the lower house of Parliament.

According to a press release issued by the Assembly Secretariat, the development came as members of the opposition — including PTI’s Gohar Khan, Amir Dogar and Ayub himself — met Sadiq.

The statement said that the nomination of the leader of the opposition was discussed during the meeting, adding that Ayub’s name was submitted.

Subsequently, Sadiq declared Ayub leader of the opposition after the completion of the scrutiny process under Rule 39 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the NA.

The statement added that the deadline to submit nomination papers for the slot was till 6pm on Monday. No other candidates’ nomination papers had been received by the stipulated time, it said.

A notification, was also released by the NA Secretariat stating that Ayub had been declared the opposition leader with effect from April 2 (today).

On March 9, the PTI-Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) alliance had formally nominated Ayub for the leader of the opposition by submitting his documents to the office of the speaker.

It should be noted that while most of the PTI-backed winning independent candidates of national and provincial assemblies had submitted affidavits to the Election Commission to officially join the SIC in February, Ayub and Gohar had not done so due to their plans to contest PTI intra-party polls.

Gohar and Ayub were later elected unopposed as the chairman and secretary general of the party, respectively.

Leader of the opposition, who sits in front of the NA speaker on his left side and on the right side of the leader of the house, enjoys the status of a federal minister. He gets a separate office where usually opposition parties hold meetings. The Public Accounts Committee is usually headed by leader of the opposition.