ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People's Party (PPP) candidates for the prime minister's slot, Makhdoom Shahabuddin and Raja Pervez Ashraf have submitted their nomination papers, Geo News reported.
The process of election of new prime minister kicked off today with the submission of nomination papers for the coveted post of Leader of the House.
In brief remarks at the NA, Shahabuddin showcased his loyalty by thanking Zardari and extending greetings to members of PPP on the birthday of Benazir Bhutto.
"I am thankful from the bottom of my heart (to Zardari)," he told reporters.
"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 added.
According to the schedule issued by Secretary National Assembly Karamat Niazi, the nomination papers for the premiership would be received by the Secretary National Assembly by 2:00pm Thursday.
Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza will carry out scrutiny of the nomination papers at 3:00pm. The candidates, whose nomination papers are found in order, will be eligible to contest election for the Office of the Prime Minister.
However, any candidate who desires to quit the contest can withdraw his nomination papers any time.
National Assembly session has been summoned to meet on June 22 to elect new Prime Minister of Pakistan after disqualification of Syed Yusuf Raza Gillani from premiership on Supreme Court's verdict. Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza will be chairing the proceedings of the House.
The 43rd session of the Lower House of Parliament has also been summoned by President Asif Ali Zardari in exercise of powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 54 of the Constitution. The Lower House will meet on Friday at 05:30pm in the Parliament House.
After election on Friday, the majority candidate will emerge as the Prime Minister-elect, till he takes oath of the office to become a Prime Minister. After taking oath, the new Prime Minister will seek vote of confidence from the House.
Pakistan People's Party candidates
President Asif Ali Zardari has finalized the name of Makhdoom Shahabuddin for the next Prime Minister, sources said. Meanwhile, Raja Pervez Ashraf will file nomination papers as a covering candidate.
Ruling coalition parties had already authorised the president to nominate the person of his choice.
Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz
The largest opposition party PML-N has decided to contact coalition parties in search of a joint candidate. Sourced add that the PML-N is also willing to accept a PM candidate from the coalition partners if it was assured that loadshedding would be eliminated and transparent elections would be held.
However, the PML-N could field a candidate of its own if the nominee for the next prime minister was from the PPP.