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Tuesday April 23, 2024

PM election: Shehbaz Sharif, Omar Ayub’s nominations accepted

PML-N candidate gets support from eight parties while five parties back opposition’s candidate

By Asif Bashir Chaudhary
March 02, 2024
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif (left) and PTI general secretary Omar Ayub Khan. —AFP
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif (left) and PTI general secretary Omar Ayub Khan. —AFP

ISLAMABAD: The nomination papers of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Central General Secretary Omar Ayub Khan have been approved for the forthcoming elections of the prime minister — scheduled for Sunday at 11am.

The PML-N and the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) on Saturday submitted nomination papers for Shehbaz and Ayub, respectively.

The Mutahhida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party, and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have all backed the PML-N's candidate, ensuring that he will be smoothly elected for the prime minister's slot once again. Ayub, on the other hand, does not have the numbers.

PML-N leaders Ishaq Dar, Hanif Abbasi, and PPP leader Khursheed Shah submitted the documents on behalf of Shehbaz. Seven MNAs are proposers and seven others are seconders for the former PM's nomination papers.

Attaullah Tarar, Anusha Rehman, Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Romina Khursheed Alam, Kheeal Das Kohistani, Ahsan Iqbal, Sardar Yousuf, Khawaja Asif, Awais Laghari, Awn Chaudry and many other MNAs also reached the NA secretary office with them.

On the other hand, the SIC has also submitted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Ayub’s nomination papers to the secretary of the lower house.

On February 29, the National Assembly Secretariat issued the schedule of the election for prime minister's office according to which the election will take place on March 3 (tomorrow).

The time for submission of nomination papers ended at 2pm on Saturday (today) while the time for scrutiny of the nomination papers ended at 3pm.

Both major parties — PPP and PML-N — got their speaker and deputy speaker elected with ease in Friday's session, with the SIC and PTI-backed candidates suffering defeat.

Following the prime minister's election, the newly-elected lawmakers will also elect a new head of the state on March 9, marking an end to the tenure of PTI-backed President Arif Alvi.

However, PML-N and PPP's estranged ally Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, whose party has eight seats in the National Assembly, raised reservations over the polls and said that they would not vote for the president and prime minister.

Although the PML-N had Friday expressed hope for a breakthrough after the party’s top brass met the JUI-F leadership, no positive news has come out yet.