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Prime Minister will be from PPP, says Sharif's party

PML-N Joint Secretary Siddique-ul-Farooq says they are waiting for the PPP to nominate a suitable member of the National Assembly.
PTI | By Rezaul H Laskar
UPDATED ON FEB 22, 2008 04:15 PM IST

Hours after joining hands with the PPP for formation of a coalition government, the PML-N on Friday said the Prime Minister will be from the party of the slain Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto, which has emerged as the largest group in the general election.

"The Prime minister will be from the PPP and we are waiting for them to nominate a suitable member of the National Assembly," PML-N Joint Secretary Siddique-ul-Farooq said.

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) got 88 National Assembly or lower house of Parliament seats while former premier Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) bagged 66, emerging as the two largest parties in the February 18 Parliamentary polls.

After a meeting between PPP co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Sharif in Islamabad last night, the two parties announced they would form coalition governments at the centre and in the four provinces of Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh and NWFP.

Farooq said the PML-N has held no discussions with the PPP on the possibility of having a Deputy Prime Minister, adding that the Pakistani Constitution has no provision for such a post.

PML-N has also decided that Sharif's brother Shahbaz will be its chief ministerial candidate in the politically crucial Punjab province, where the party has emerged as the single largest group.

"Mr Shahbaz Sharif will be formally elected the chief of the PML-N parliamentary party in Punjab at a meeting on Sunday," Farooq said.

The Sharif brothers could not contest the polls as their nomination papers were rejected by the Election Commission.
Farooq said Sharif and Shahbaz would soon contest by-elections to enter the National Assembly and the Punjab provincial assembly respectively.

"We will have some other leader as the chief minister in Punjab till Shahbaz sahab is formally elected," he said.

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