Five in race for Pakistan PM’s post (Lead)

June 21st, 2012 - 5:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Benazir Bhutto Islamabad, June 21 (IANS) Five candidates, three from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and one each from the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Thursday filed nomination papers for the post of prime minister.

PPP candidates Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Raja Pervez Ashraf and Qamar Zaman Kaira filed their papers ahead of the 2 p.m. deadline, Geo News reported.

The JUI-F named its chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman while the PML-N nominated Sardar Mehtab Abbasi as their respective prime ministerial candidates.

Shahabuddin is a member of the National Assembly from Rahim Yar Khan, Ashraf from Rawalpindi and Kaira from Gujrat — all three places are in Punjab province.

Abbasi is a former chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and current member of the National Assembly from Abbottabad, made infamous for the hideout of Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, where he was killed.

Fazlur Rehman hails from Abdulkhel Banyala area of the Dera Ismail Khan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He is a member of the National Assembly from Bannu.

Shahabuddin thanked President Asif Ali Zardari and greeted party members of the PPP on the birth anniversary of late Benazir Bhutto.

“I am thankful from the bottom of my heart (to Zardari). Today is a special day because it is Benazir Bhutto’s birthday and I send my congratulations on this birthday to all party workers,” he said.

A special session of the National Assembly has been summoned Friday (June 22) to elect the new prime minister, after Yousuf Raza Gilani was disqualified by the Supreme Court. Speaker Fehmida Mirza will chair the proceedings.

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