ISLAMABAD: The nomination papers of all the five candidates contesting for the office of prime minister were approved by the Speaker National Assembly, Geo News reported.
Five candidates, three from Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and one each from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), had filed nomination papers for the election of prime minister.
The PPP candidates, Makhdoom Shahabuddin and Raja Pervez Ashraf submitted their nominations papers Thursday morning, while senior party leader Qamar Zaman Kaira an hour before the 2:00pm deadline.
Sardar Mehtab Abbasi from PML-N and Maulana Fazlur Rehman from JUI-F submitted their papers as well for the race of the prime minister.
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.
Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza scrutinised the nomination papers. The objections raised by PML-N against Shahabuddin were dismissed.
However, any candidate who desires to quit the contest can withdraw his nomination papers any time.
The 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 following a Supreme Court's verdict. Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza will chair the proceedings of the House.
President Asif Ali Zardari has also summoned the 43rd session of the Lower House of Parliament 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.