ISLAMABAD: The PPP’s parliamentary party on Wednesday ended up without deciding who would wear the thorny crown of the prime minister but gave the authority to the party’s Co-Chairman and President Asif Ali Zardari to nominate the PPP candidate for the new leader of the house in the National Assembly and the country’s chief executive.
The PPP parliamentary party meeting was held at the Presidency with President Asif Ali Zardari and PPP Senior Vice Chairman Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani in the chair.
On the occasion, President Asif Ali Zardari said that the Supreme Court verdict on Gilani’s disqualification would be discussed in parliament. He said whoever the new prime minister will be, he will not allow the trial of Benazir Bhutto’s grave.
Meanwhile, the source said that Makhdoom Shahabudin and Ahmed Mukhtar were still in the race but the final decision in this regard would be taken by President Asif Ali Zardari today (Thursday).
According to sources, while addressing the meeting, President Asif Ali Zardari said that the PPP accepted the Supreme Court judgment for the sake of democracy, despite its reservations but new general electionswould be held after eight months. “We do not want confrontation with the institutions and want to uphold the constitution and democratic institutions in the country,” sources said while quoting President Zardari. The president assured that the PPP would do its utmost to strengthen democracy in the country.
Sources who participated in the meeting told The News that President Asif Ali Zardari said that the doors to oust the elected government had been closed. “We will not allow anyone to weaken the Parliament. We know how to protect it,” sources said quoting President Zardari.
While in his speech, PPP Vice Chairman Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said he proved that he was not Farooq Leghari and never stabbed in the back of the party and remained loyal to it. “I will live as a PPP worker and die as its worker. I am thankful to President Zardari for reposing trust in me and nominated me for the premiership,” sources said.
According to the sources, President Asif Ali Zardari during the meeting did not disclose his choice of new prime minister and kept all the cards close to his chest.However, he hinted that the choice would be made with the consultation of former prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.
Sources said that Makhdoom Shahabudin who emerged as a dark horse in the race of premiership was so exited in the meeting that he went to each member to shake hands with them.Sources said during the meeting, President Asif Ali Zardari questioned Ahmed Mukhtar, “How many days will you take to resolve the issue of loadshedding?” Sources said Ahmed Mukhtar replied, “In three months.”
Sources said that it was decided in the meeting that three candidates would submit the nomination papers for the election of the prime minister but two of them would take their nomination back two hours before voting in the assembly.
Sources said that the PPP members in their speeches came harsh on the Supreme Court verdict disqualifying Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani as a prime minister and demanded that the verdict should be debated in the Parliament.
Sources said that the voice was also raised for the amendment in the Constitution to make the separate constitutional court in line with the Charter of Democracy (CoD).However, according to the sources, Aitzaz Ahsan said that the formation of the constitutional court should only be made if they had the two-third majority.
PPP legislator Samsam Ali Bukhari said in the meeting that the prime minister should be the person whose doors were open for every parliamentarian. “We do not want any prime minister who avoids meeting the parliamentarians,” sources said while quoting Syed Samsam Ali Bukhari.