Pakistan ready for new leadership, PPP submit Gillani's nomination

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Islamabad, Mar 23 (UNI) Setting the stage for a transfer of political power that would seal the end of more than eight years of military rule under President Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) and its coalition partners today submitted nomination papers for Makhdoom Yousaf Raza Gillani for the slot of Prime Minister.

Talking to journalists on the occasion, Mr Gillani sought cooperation of the nation to resolve the problems confronting the country.

''I will deliver a policy statement and party's strategy in the National Assembly so that the challenges facing the nation can be met effectively,'' the Associated Press of Pakistan quoted him as saying.

When asked about the role of MQM, he said it was a political force and the party was thankful for its unconditional support.

Six nominations papers were submitted by MNAs of PPPP and its allies to the Secretary National Assembly. The proposers of Yousaf Raza Gillani were Asfand Yar Wali Khan, Syed Naveed Qamar, Maulana Qasim, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Sherry Rehman and Khawaja Asif while the seconders for Mr Gillani included Mahreen Anwar Raja, Mahesh Kumar, Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Fakharuz Zaman Kaira and Afzal Sindhu.

The election of Mr Gillani in National Assembly tomorrow is a certainty given the majority the incoming PPP-PML(N) coalition has in the lower house of Parliament. The new Prime Minister will be sworn-in on Tuesday.

Mr Gillani was named the next premier by Co-Chairman of PPP Asif Ali Zardari yesterday after month-long consultations with members of his party as well as leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League(Nawaz), which will form coalition government with the PPP in centre and in Punjab province.

Central Leader of PPPP, Syed Naveed Qamar, said the coalition partners, including Pakistan Muslim League (N), Awami National Party (ANP) and Mutehida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), have submitted the nomination papers on behalf of Mr Gillani for the slot of premiership.

He said though Mutehida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has not submitted any nomination papers on behalf of Yousaf Raza Gillani, but ''we enjoy their unconditional support and PPPP appreciates their cooperation.'' Jubilant people of Multan began celebrations across the city and distributed sweets, chanted slogans, displayed fireworks and traditional dances to celebrate the nomination.

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