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PPP to announce PM candidate on Friday morning

June 22, 2012 01:27 IST
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The name of the Pakistan People's Party's nominee for the office of the prime minister will be announced at a press conference at 11 am on Friday, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said on Thursday.

Babar made the announcement after President Asif Ali Zardari, who is also the chief of the PPP, held a meeting with leaders of the ruling coalition at the presidency late on Thursday night.

The meeting was part of the consultative process with the coalition to discuss the prevailing situation and to finalise a "strategy in taking forward the democratic process", he said.

The partners in the ruling coalition had announced their support for the PPP's nominee for the office of the premier, Babar said.

Those who attended the meeting included Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, Farooq Sattar of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Afrasiab Khattak of the Awami National Party and Khursheed Shah and Yousuf Raza Gilani of the PPP.

The new premier will be elected by the National Assembly during a session that will begin at 5.30 pm on Friday.

The PPP's original candidate for the post, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, was dropped after an anti-narcotics court issued an arrest warrant for him in connection with alleged irregularities in the import of a controlled drug during his tenure as health minister.

The election is being held as former premier Gilani was disqualified by the Supreme Court on Tuesday due to his conviction of contempt for refusing to revive graft cases against Zardari.

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