LAHORE: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will abstain from the elections for the offices of speaker and deputy speaker of the Punjab Assembly scheduled to be held on Thursday (today).

PPP’s seven-person parliamentary party leader Syed Hasan Murtaza says as they consider both the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) two sides of the same coin they have decided not to support any of the two parties in the contest.

The PTI enjoys support of 179 MPAs while the PML-N has had 164 representatives in the 371-strong Punjab Assembly. The PTI has fielded its ally PML-Q’s Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi for the speaker slot and PML-N has put forward former provincial minister Chaudhry Iqbal for the electoral bout.

A PML-N leader alleges that the PPP is reluctant to side with it fearing the forces that worked against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif may turn their guns towards Asif Ali Zardari and Co.

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2018