New Prime Minister to be elected tomorrow
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has summoned the National Assembly session on Friday (June 22) at 5:30pm to elect the new leader of the House, after the disqualification of Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
According to the schedule released by the National Assembly Secretariat, nomination papers from candidates for the leader of the house would be received till 2:00pm on Thursday while the candidature could be withdrawn just before the elections.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet Division also de-notified former prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and his 63-member cabinet with effect from April 26. Two separate notifications have been issued by the Cabinet Division.
The notification by the Cabinet Division states that upon cessation of the office of the prime minister, 35 federal ministers, 18 ministers of state, four advisers to the prime minister and six special assistants to the prime minister also cease to hold their respective offices with effect from April 26.
Meanwhile, the political bargaining for the election of the new prime minister has gained momentum as the PML-N on Wednesday decided to play an active role in the whole process while PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain met President Asif Ali Zardari at the President House and extended unconditional support to the PPP candidate.
The PML-N on Wednesday decided to field Sardar Mehtab Abbasi against the PPP candidate in the election for the new leader of the house in the National Assembly scheduled to be held on Friday evening.
In the meantime, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has got another opportunity to play his cards as both the PPP and PML-N made contact with him to muster his support.
President Asif Ali Zardari also made a telephonic contact with Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Wednesday night to consult him on the election of the country’s new chief executive. Sources in the JUI-F did not rule out a late night meeting between the two personalities.
The PML-N leaders apparently failed in their attempt to receive any encouraging response from Maulana Fazlur Rehman during a meeting at the latter’s residence.
PML-N deputy general secretary Ahsan Iqbal and Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, MNA, met JUI-F chief at his residence. “The PML-N leaders have come to seek our support for their candidate in the election of new prime minister,” a JUI-F spokesman said.
He, however, said if the PML-N leadership was so serious to get JUI-F support, they should have sent opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar or Shahbaz Sharif for meeting Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
Maulana told the PML-N leaders to first get opposition groups united on one platform.Dr Abdul Qayyum Soomro, a close aide of President Asif Ali Zardari also met Maulana Fazlur Rehman to convey Zardari’s message seeking support for PPP candidate.
According to sources, a meeting of JUI-F leaders being chaired by Maulana was in progress till the filing of this report.
PML-N President Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday held a brain-storming session of two hours with party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) members here at the Punjab House.
The meeting decided to choose between two options of fielding its own candidate or bringing a consensus candidate with the support of PPP’s coalition partners and opposition parties for the slot of leader of the house in the National Assembly.
The party leaders decided to nominate Sardar Mehtab Abbasi against the PPP candidate in the election on Friday if the talks with PPP’s coalition partners failed on bringing a consensus candidate.
The meeting reached a conclusion that the contacts would be made with all the coalition partners of PPP except PML-Q with three points.
It was decided that the PML-N would accept any candidate from coalition partners if guarantee was given to accept and implement decisions of the judiciary, hold fair and transparent general elections and put an end to electricity loadshedding.
Central leaders Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Ahsan Iqbal and Iqbal Zafar Jhagra have been given the task to meet coalition partners of PPP and other opposition groups in the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain after chairing PML-Q parliamentary party meeting told the newsmen that his party would support PPP candidate without any condition.
He said that the PPP leadership did not fulfill promises with them. “Neither the promise of Hazara province was fulfilled nor our members were provided development funds but despite all reservations, we will extend unconditional support to PPP candidate,” he said.
Anis-add in end of political bargaining storyThe PML-Q sources said that during the meeting, it was decided that the PPP candidate nominated for the slot of prime minister would hold meeting with the Q parliamentary party on Thursday to listen to their grievances and future relations between two parties during remaining tenure of the government. “We have some bitter experience with them therefore we want meeting with the would-be prime minister,” the sources said.
During the meeting, some PML-Q leaders proposed Chaudhry Parvaiz Illahi as the candidate for premiership but Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain decided that they would support the majority party in the National Assembly.