The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has overhauled its list of candidates for caretaker prime minister – only one name has been retained from the previous list and the remaining five have been dumped, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Meanwhile, two new names have been included in the list.
According to sources privy to the development, the decision was taken in a consultative meeting between PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, his brother Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly (NA) Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and other senior party leaders on Thursday to discuss the interim set-up before the upcoming general elections. It came after Nisar briefed the PML-N top brass of his latest meetings on the matter with opposition party leaders inside and outside the assemblies, they added.
The PML-N had earlier circulated a list of seven candidates for caretaker prime minister among opposition parties. It comprised Sardar Ataullah Khan Mengal, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid, Rasul Bux Palejo, Asma Jahangir, Justice (retd) Shakirullah Jan and the late Qazi Hussain Ahmed.
Following Qazi Hussain’s death, however, the party decided to revamp the list, retaining only Mehmood Khan Achakzai’s name, said the sources. They refused to divulge the names of the candidates on the new list.
According to the sources, Nisar informed the Sharifs during the meeting that he asked the leaders of opposition parties to suggest two candidates each for the post of the caretaker prime minister and chief ministers. The sources said PML-N will announce its candidates in a joint meeting with the opposition parties after receiving their suggestions.
Talking to the media after the meeting, Nisar said opposition parties were in agreement over two points: that their respective leaders will finalise the list of candidates for caretaker prime minister in a formal meeting and that all parties would recommend two names for the caretaker chief ministers.
He maintained that once the interim set-up is put in place, PML-N would demand the replacement of all four governors because of their political affiliations.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2013.
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