PPP to name future premier on March 6

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Islamabad, Mar 3: The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) is likely to name the country's next Prime Minister in its National Assembly Parliamentary party meeting on Thursday. PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has convened the meeting at Zardari House in Islamabad to be attended by party's 87 MNAs-elect as well as those elected on seats reserved for women and religious minorities, local media reports said today.

The meeting is likely to endorse the PPP Central Executive Committee's (CEC) nominee for the PM's office before its formal declaration. There are formally four names, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Yousaf Raza Gillani and Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, under the PPP's consideration for the head of next government. The meeting assumes significance as the government is expected to announce the date of Assembly Session by March 6, necessitating nomination for the new PM.

A senior PPP leader said on condition of anonymity that Amin Fahim was no longer the front-runner among the four Prime Ministerial aspirants for various reasons, the reports said. He said one of the three Punjabi candidates would likely be nominated. Only Gillani, who is the PPP Vice-Chairman, has denied being an aspirant to the PM office. Qureshi and Mukhtar said they'll accept the party's decision if they are named for the slot.

According to the reports, the PPP central executive committee had finalised the names of its parliamentary leaders in the National Assembly and provincial assemblies. The names will however be made public at an appropriate time after consultations with allied political parties.

UNI

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