Fazlur Rehman’s son to be MMA’s nominee for NA deputy speaker

  • Fissures reported within the alliance as other parties do not want a novice to hold important post
  • Fazl pushing to nominate his son for the post despite no chance to win

ISLAMABAD: The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) has nominated on Tuesday Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s son Asad Mehmood as the candidate for the post of deputy speaker of National Assembly (NA).

Speaking to Pakistan Today, MMA Secretary General Liaquat Baloch confirmed Asad Mehmood’s nomination for the post of deputy speaker saying that the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) got to pick the nominee since they have a majority. MMA Central Information Secretary Awais Noorani also confirmed the development.

However, Fazl’s  brother Senator Maulana Attaur Rehman has denied the rumours saying that no decision has been taken in this regard yet.

Earlier, it was being reported that differences have propped in the MMA over the nomination of deputy speaker, as MMA President Maulana Fazlur Rehman is interested to nominate his son Asad Mehmood for the slot.

Sources told Pakistan Today that the leadership of the religious alliance could not to evolve a consensus to nominate a candidate for the slot of deputy speaker. Despite the fact that there is hardly any chance to get an MMA candidate elected, Fazl has started lobbying for his son, who won from NA-37 Tank, for the slot, further widening the fissures within the fragile religious political parties’ alliance.

They said that the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), being the major party of the alliance, has the right to nominate a candidate for the slot. But an experienced candidate needs to be nominated instead of an inexperienced MNA.

The sources further said that the decision on the matter has not been taken yet as the remaining parties of the alliance have voiced serious concerns over the name of Asad Mehmood because he is very young and has no experience of parliamentary politics. They added that since almost all the top leadership of JUI-F faced defeat in the election, Fazl wants to promote his son.

It is pertinent to mention here that the opposition parties in Pakistan formed a “Grand Opposition Alliance” against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which emerged as the single largest party in July 25 election.

The alliance includes Pakistan Muslim-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), MMA, Awami National Party (ANP), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), National Party Balochistan (NPB), Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP).

Under the agreed formula, the grand alliance has decided to nominate joint candidates for the election of prime minister, speaker and deputy speaker of the parliament.

Opposition parties would support PML-N candidate for the premiership, while PPP will field its candidate for speaker and MMA will nominate its candidate for deputy speaker slot.

So far, both the major parties, PML-N and PPP, have nominated their candidates for the slot of premier and speaker respectively. However, the MMA has yet to finalise its candidate for the post of deputy speaker due to the internal rift.

Talking to Pakistan Today, MMA Central Information Secretary Awais Noorani had said that the alliance would finalise the name for the slot within next two to three days.

When asked about Asad Mehmood’s name, he said that he was not aware of any such development. However, when asked whether they discussed any name for the slot since PML-N and PPP have finalised their nominees, he said that they have not discussed the matter so far.

Noorani denied that there are any differences in the alliance and they would evolve a consensus on the issue soon.