The Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) on Wednesday nominated Jam Kamal for the post of Balochistan chief minister and former chief minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo as the speaker of Balochistan Assembly.

The decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the party held in Islamabad, a BAP senator told DawnNewsTV while requesting anonymity. A formal announcement about the nominations will be made on Thursday, he added.

Reports had earlier emerged of cracks surfacing in BAP over the top job in Balochistan.

After securing the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's support on Tuesday, BAP got 30 out of 50 general seats in the Balochistan Assembly, giving it a simple majority to form the provincial government without support from other parties.

In a press conference held on Tuesday, Kamal's candidacy for the CM role was endorsed by PTI leader Jahangir Tareen. "The party has nominated Jam Kamal sahib and the PTI fully supports him as the candidate for Balochistan CM," he had said.

However, Kamal's emergence as the front-runner for the top ministerial job in the province did not appear to sit well with former Balochistan CM Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and Jan Jamali.

When asked about PTI's endorsement of Kamal, Bizenjo did not openly oppose it but said: "We created BAP in order to make decisions in Quetta rather than Bani Gala."

Aside from friction within BAP, the "sudden nomination" of Kamal also seemed to strike a chord with the PTI Balochistan chapter.

While not openly objecting to the party's endorsement of the BAP chairman, Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind, the president of PTI Balochistan said: "We just raised objections over the sudden nomination for the chief minister post without consultation of the parliamentary board."

"It is up to BAP to nominate a candidate. We have been directed by PTI Chief Imran Khan to support BAP in Balochistan," he added.

A BNP-Mengal leader, who wished to remain anonymous, told DawnNewsTV that Jan Jamali, along with Nawabzada Tariq Magsi, held a meeting with Sardar Akhtar Mengal, the chief of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) allegedly to gather support. No official statement has been made in this regard so far.

Meanwhile, BNP leader Sanaullah Baloch — who is also an MPA-elect — told DawnNewsTV that his party hopes to form a "coalition government with MMA (Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal) and other political parties".

BNP and MMA members also met in Quetta to discuss their future strategy in the aftermath of BAP's electoral victory. The MMA has eight seats in Balochistan Assembly, while BNP has seven.

The Hazara Democratic Party and Awami National Party, who were thought to be natural allies of the BNP, have also declared their support for BAP.

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Updated 19 May, 2022

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