Islamabad: The main opposition PML-N and Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf on Monday challenged in the Supreme Court Speaker Fehmida Mirza's ruling that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani cannot be disqualified following his conviction of contempt.

Lawmaker Khwaja Asif filed a constitutional petition challenging the Speaker's ruling in the apex court on behalf of the PML-N, which is led by former premier Nawaz Sharif.

The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf too filed a similar petition.

Both petitions named the government, premier, Speaker and the Election Commission as respondents.

Addressing a large rally in Rawalpindi on Sunday, Imran Khan had announced he would approach the apex court against the Speaker's ruling against the disqualification of Gilani.

The move by the two opposition parties came two days after the ruling PPP announced it would not file an appeal in the apex court against the premier's conviction on contempt last month.

The apex court convicted Gilani on April 26 and gave him a symbolic sentence of less than a minute for refusing to act on orders to reopen corruption cases in Switzerland against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The government has maintained that it cannot act against the President as he enjoys immunity in Pakistan and abroad.

The Supreme Court has been pressuring the government to revive the corruption cases against the President since December 2009, when it struck down a graft amnesty issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf that benefited Zardari and over 8,000 others.

On May 24, National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza decided not to send any proposal for Gilani's disqualification to the Election Commission and said there was no question of his disqualification as a member of Parliament.

The Speaker, who belongs to the PPP, gave her ruling after consulting legal experts over the past few weeks.

The PML-N has already said it does not recognise Gilani as a legitimate Prime Minister after his conviction.

It asked the apex court to restrain Gilani from continuing to act as a member of Parliament and from exercising the powers of the Prime Minister.

Imran Khan, while addressing the rally in Rawalpindi yesterday, further warned that his party will organise a march on Islamabad if the PPP government fails to implement the Supreme Court's verdicts.

He said his party would launch a "decisive movement" that will force the ouster of both Zardari and Gilani.

(Agencies)

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