Islamabad: Pakistan's People's Party (PPP) and its allies Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), on Friday officially announced Raja Pervez Ashraf as a candidate for the post of the country’s Prime Minister
As per the reports, the announcement was made by PPP's Khursheed Shah, Haider Abbas Rizvi of the MQM and Afrasiab Khattak of the ANP.
Reports reveal that on Thursday night, the coalition partners, at a meeting chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari, authorised the PPP to name the next prime ministerial .
During the meeting attended by leaders of the PML-Q, the MQM and the ANP, the allies unanimously approved the name of Ashraf for the post, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.
A special session of the National Assembly has been summoned on Friday evening to elect the new prime minister, after Yousuf Raza Gilani was disqualified by the Supreme Court. Speaker Fehmida Mirza will chair the proceedings.
Two opposition candidates, Maulana Fazlur Rehman from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Sardar Mehtab Abbasi from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), had filed nomination papers on Thursday.
Tipped earlier as a covering candidate, Ashraf was on Thursday named the party's main candidate for the office of prime minister following the issue of a non-bailable arrest warrant against the previous contender Makhdoom Shahabuddin.
Sources say that Shahabuddin's name was dropped after an anti-narcotics court on Thursday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against him as well as disqualified prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's son Ali Musa in an illegal drugs quota case.