Makhdoom Shahab named new PM
21 June, 2012
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday nominated Makhdoom Shahbuddin next prime minister to fill the office that felt vacant after the Supreme Court disqualified Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday.
Shahbuddin will file his nomination papers today (Thursday), while PPP leader Raja Pervez Ashraf will be his covering candidate.
Shahbuddin's nomination came after a meeting of PPP leadership chaired by President Zardari.
Earlier, the ruling PPP authorised the president, also the party's co-chairman, to nominate a candidate for the office of PM.
A statement issued from the Presidency said the meeting discussed the political situation following the Supreme Court's Tuesday verdict. The meeting lauded Gilani for "upholding the supremacy of parliament and constitution".
Sources said that some participants expressed their anger over the Supreme Court's decision to disqualify Gilani as prime minister. However, the president cooled them down and said that the party would not go for confrontation against any state institution.
"We will do every role that would strength democracy in the country," sources quoted Zardari as saying. They said that some members also suggested establishment of a constitutional court to decide about constitutional matters, adding that the proposal was rejected.
"Aitzaz Ahsan said that for such a court, a two-thirds majority of parliament is required, which the party does not have at the moment," source said. Among the sizeable members of parliament belonging to the PPP, Gilani also attended the meeting as vice chairman of the PPP.
The PML-N leadership also had a busy day on Wednesday and reached out to allies of the PPP in an apparent bid to dent the former coalition. A PML-N delegation met the JUI-F leadership and sought support for its candidate Sardar Mahtab Khan Abbasi for the PM slot.
However, sources said, the JUI-F asked the PML-N to bring a unanimous candidate for the purpose. The PML-N also contacted another PPP ally, the MQM, and tried to convince it to distance itself from the ruling party. Nawaz Sharif-led opposition party also contacted FATA joint parliamentary group to win their support on the issue.
Sources in the PML-N said that the party has decided to contact all political parties except the Chaudhrys of Gujrat to contest PPP's move to bring in a new leader of the National Assembly. Sources in the PPP said three candidates from the PPP and allied parties would file their nominations for the PM's slot.
The National Assembly (NA) will hold its special session tomorrow (Friday) to elect new leader of the House after the disqualification of Yousaf Raza Gilani by the Supreme Court.
President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday summoned the NA session on June 22 at 5:30pm.
Apparently, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) will not have any problem in getting its leader of the House elected from the Assembly because of numerical strength it has with the support of coalition partners. Having support of 24 MQM members, 12 ANP MNAs and 35 PML-Q members, the PPP could easily get its new prime minister elected from the House.
The National Assembly said that nominations had to be submitted today (Thursday). This will be the 43rd session of the fifth parliamentary year of the assembly.