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regular-article-logo Monday, 27 May 2024

Asif Ali Zardari tipped to become Pakistan president as PPP and PML-N enter into alliance: Report

After the February 8 polls produced a split mandate, there has been no government in place in the country for almost a week now

PTI Islamabad Published 15.02.24, 10:07 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) top leader Asif Ali Zardari is likely to be Pakistan’s next president, a second term for him after his party agreed to ally with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to form a government at the Centre, according to media reports here.

“If the situation remains unchanged, the country will see the PML-N’s prime minister and the PPP’s president,” The News International reported on Wednesday, quoting sources amid talks of a quid pro quo arrangement between the PML-N and PPP.

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After the February 8 polls produced a split mandate, there has been no government in place in the country for almost a week now. With none of the major parties gaining a clear majority, Pakistan was staring at a coalition government.

As part of the PML-N and PPP alliance, Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of former premier Nawaz Sharif, is expected to become Pakistan's next prime minister.

The coming together of these two parties meant that the jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) would not be able to assume power despite the independent candidates it backed won the maximum number of seats in the National Assembly.

PPP president Zardari, 68, served as the President of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013.

The current Pakistan President Dr Arif Alvi is scheduled to relinquish his post later this month.

The PML-N on Tuesday night nominated 72-year-old Shehbaz as the prime ministerial candidate instead of the party supremo and three-time former premier Nawaz Sharif. The 74-year-old veteran politician, who was seeking a record fourth term as prime minister, returned to Pakistan in October last year after ending a self-imposed exile in the UK.

The PML-N and PPP have been joined by the MQM-P, PML-Q, IPP, and BAP to form a coalition government in the Centre on the pattern of the last government of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

A press conference was held by all top leaders where they fielded various questions related to the government formation.

To a question on the constitutional posts of National Assembly speaker, Senate chairman and president, the PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the party would decide its nominees for these posts but he wanted Asif Ali Zardari to become president “because the country is burning and if anyone can help put the fire out, it is Asif Ali Zardari.” The leadership of PML-N has agreed to support Zardari for the post of president in return for PPP’s support to Shehbaz for the PM’s post, The News International reported quoting sources in the know.

Besides the presidency, according to the sources, PPP is also eyeing the post of Balochistan chief minister and party leader Sarfraz Bugti briefed his party on the province’s political situation, as per sources, The News International reported.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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