PPP co-chair Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday hinted that his party would not be taking any ministries in Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's cabinet — which is yet to be decided since the premier's election on April 11.
"I don't think we are taking any ministries," he told journalists outside the National Assembly after PPP's Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was elected NA speaker unopposed.
"We want to give a chance to our friends," Zardari added, referring to the government's coalition partners which comprises eight political parties.
The former president's statement comes after the PPP issued a notification on Saturday, inviting applications for party tickets in the national and provincial assemblies for the forthcoming general elections in the country.
A statement issued by Farhatullah Babar, secretary general of the party, said that each application should be accompanied with a bank draft of Rs40,000 for an NA party ticket and Rs30,000 for a provincial assembly ticket.
"Applications must reach the party secretariat in Islamabad or Bilawal House in Karachi by April 30," it added.
'More interested in getting constitutional offices'
The federal cabinet is yet to be announced even a week after Shehbaz assumed power. The premier has been taking his sweet time in appointing the federal cabinet as he wants to take along all his allies, particularly those who joined the former opposition after quitting the PTI coalition government.
According to sources who spoke to Dawn earlier, PPP, the second largest party in the ruling coalition, had told Shehbaz Sharif that they had no desire to join his cabinet and wanted to support him from the outside. But the premier had been insisting the party join him.
“We know the fragile nature of our alliance and we want to see the present government succeeding. We don’t want to give an impression that we have come to power only to get some portfolios or to enjoy perks and privileges,” a PPP leader had said earlier, adding: “We want business.”
Another senior PPP leader, on the other hand, had told Dawn they were more interested in getting constitutional offices instead of cabinet portfolios. He said two constitutional offices had already fallen vacant after the resignations of the National Assembly speaker and deputy speaker, while they were also planning to remove Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.
The PPP was also interested in the speaker’s office, the Senate chairman and even the Presidency, as they were expecting a resignation from Dr Arif Alvi.