Islamabad: Pakistan’s ruling PPP leaders on Friday backed party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari for the post of Pakistan President, elections for which will be held on September 6, but left a final decision to him.
Meeting four days after the former President, Pervez Musharraf, resigned from the post in the face of imminent impeachment, the PPP’s top leadership, the largest constituent in the ruling coalition, considered the party’s presidential candidate. At its central executive committee meeting, party members felt Mr. Zardari should take over as the next President as PPP is representing the federation and has a right to the presidency, said PPP leader and Information Minister, Sherry Rehman, after the meeting.
The meeting finally authorised Mr. Zardari to select the party’s candidate for the presidential election. “Mr. Zardari thanked the central executive committee for backing him and said he would announce his decision within 24 hours,” said Ms. Rehman, adding the meeting had not considered any alternative candidates.
Reports have suggested Mr. Zardari is not keen on the post being held by any other party till constitutional amendments are passed to repeal some of the President’s sweeping powers, including the ability to dissolve Parliament and dismiss the Prime Minister. At Friday’s meeting, some PPP leaders advised Mr. Zardari against assuming the post as it would become a ceremonial position after the abolition of such powers.
The members of the executive committee, however, insisted that the next President should be from the PPP.