Pakistan: Shehbaz set to be elected prime minister

Islamabad, April 11 : The Pakistan National Assembly is all set to elect a new prime minister for the country after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday filed their nomination papers, Dawn reported on Monday. However, the PTI is still divided over its erstwhile decision of en masse resignations by its lawmakers. While the cabinet division de-notified 52 members of the federal cabinet — 25 federal ministers, four ministers of state, four advisers to the PM and 19 special assistants to the PM — after the historic vote of no-confidence by the joint opposition against ex-premier Imran Khan, Shehbaz Sharif who has the best chance to make it to the top slot said the new cabinet would be formed only after consultation with all allies. The PTI core committee remained indecisive in a meeting chaired by Imran Khan on Sunday whether to go for en masse resignations of MNAs or not. The party chairman called the parliamentary party meeting at the Parliament House at 12 noon on Monday to make a final decision. Whether Qureshi will contest the election for the premiership or will resign along with other MNAs of the PTI and its allies depends on the outcome of the PTI parliamentary meeting. However, the PTI decided to give a tough time to the upcoming government through street protests if the PML-N won the contest in the parliament for which voting would begin at 2pm. Shehbaz Sharif meanwhile, met with the leaders of the Pakistan Peoples Party and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and discussed the political situation. While no one talked about the composition of the new cabinet, sources said PPP leader Naveed Qamar was the strongest candidate for of National Assembly speaker, while PML-N leaders Marriyum Aurangzeb and Rana Sanaullah could likely get the portfolios of information and interior ministries, respectively. ACL0922

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