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PPP, PML-N agree to field joint candidates for Oct 14 by-elections

Updated October 03, 2018

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Opposition leaders holding a joint press conference. —File photo
Opposition leaders holding a joint press conference. —File photo

In a bid to give the PTI-led incumbent government a tough time, the PPP and PML-N on Wednesday announced their decision to field joint candidates in the upcoming by-elections scheduled to be held on October 14, DawnNewsTV reported.

A meeting in this regard, held at the Parliament Lodges in Islamabad, was attended by the senior leaders of both the former ruling parties. During the meeting, a strategy for the upcoming by-elections was discussed and both groups reportedly found themselves on the same page regarding the fielding of candidates.

Talking to media persons following the meeting, PPP Secretary General Nayyar Hussain Bukhari said that the "fruitful" decision to field joint candidates was made following approval from the senior leadership of both the parties. Moreover, efforts were underway to join hands with other parties as well, he added.

"The PML-N has agreed to support the PPP candidates contesting from Karachi," PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira told reporters.

The grand opposition alliance formed by 11 parties soon after the July 25 elections had fallen apart within weeks following the PPP’s refusal to vote for PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif against PTI chief Imran Khan in the election of prime minister despite agreeing on a formula during a meeting of the multiparty conference.

However, the PPP had backed out of its commitment and asked the PML-N to replace Shahbaz with some other candidate, explaining that the party could not vote for him as he had made some controversial remarks against Zardari during the election campaign.

The cracks within the opposition ranks deepened when the PPP unilaterally nominated Aitzaz Ahsan as the presidential candidate, drawing the ire of other opposition parties.

After going their separate ways for the key offices of prime minister and president and causing serious damage to the opposition’s unity, this comes as the first development where both the parties are willing to put aside their differences and band together against the PTI-led government.