There was no official word on the development from the PPP or the presidency. The move came in the wake of two separate meetings of the PPP's central executive committee and the leaders of the ruling coalition led by the PPP. Both meetings had authorised Zardari, the head of the PPP, to choose the new premier. A formal announcement about the nominee for the post of premier is expected after a meeting of the PPP's parliamentary party scheduled on Wednesday afternoon.
Reports said former premier Gilani had expressed reservations over the candidature of Shahabuddin during the meeting of the PPP and its allies last night. Both Gilani and Shahabuddin belong to the southern part of Punjab and political rivalries were believed to be the reason for Gilani's reservations. Leaders of parties in the ruling coalition have assured Zardari of their full support for the election of the new premier, sources said. The leaders further advised Zardari not to confront the apex court over the disqualification of Gilani, the sources said.