The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has split into two factions over the appointment of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Yousaf Raza Gillani as the Senate opposition leader.

Ahead of the Senate session, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and other PDM parties held a meeting without the PPP senators that was chaired by Senator Azam Nazir Tarar. The PPP, similarly, arranged its own moot along with its allied parties, chaired by Gillani.

The PML-N and PPP had a falling out after Gillani was appointed as the Senate Opp leader with the alleged support of the Balochistan Awami party (BAP) lawmakers.

Consequently, the PML-N and JUI-F decided to oppose Gillani in the Senate and PDM also sent notices to the PPP and Awami National Party (ANP) for violating PDM’s disciplinary code.

In the Senate session today, PML-N’s Tarar demanded separate opposition benches in the upper house, saying they have formed a separate five-party bloc in the Senate that is not represented by Gillani. Tarar also urged the Senate chairman, Sadiq Sanjrani, to hold an inquiry into the installation of spy cameras in the upper house ahead of the Senate chairman elections.

He said their faction of PDM parties was not happy with the way Gillani was made the opposition leader, adding that they would oppose his selection. He also accused the PPP of getting “gifts” in the form of five BAP lawmakers.

At this, the PPP senators recorded their protest against the remarks, leading to a ruckus in the house. The remarks also prompted a response from the government benches where the senators disrupted the proceedings of the house to record their protest.

PDM Rift

Following Gillani’s victory, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz had called newly-elected Senate Opposition Leader Yousaf Raza Gillani ‘selected’ in the wake of his victory against PML-N candidate Azam Nazir Tarar.

The PML-N leader had said it was disheartening to see that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) damaged the cause of democracy for a small gain of the Senate slot.

She had said that it was unprecedented that a leader of the opposition was being selected with the support of the lawmakers from the treasury benches i.e. BAP.

Maryam and her party weren’t happy with the nomination of Gillani because they believed that the key slot belonged to the PML-N. However, the PPP and PML-N had reached an impasse and the PPP went ahead to nominate Gillani for the post. Gillani eventually won the seat, resulting in a barrage of allegations against the PPP by the PML-N leadership.

Bilawal had responded to the remarks of the PML-N vice president in the same coin. He questioned the unopposed election of senators from Punjab.

The PPP had chairperson said that some PPP leaders felt that the PPP was being pushed against the wall in the PDM and added that the PDM chief, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, never talked to the PPP leadership about the opposition leader seat.


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