Raja-Pervaiz-Ashraf-APP-670
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. - Photo by APP

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Friday named Raja Pervaiz Ashraf as its nominee for prime minister and hinted at possible early elections after a court issued an arrest warrant for its first choice.

Ashraf has been dogged by allegations of corruption and controversy from his tenure as water and power minister. He served as information technology minister until the Supreme Court dismissed prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday.

On Thursday, an anti-narcotics court took the unusual step of issuing an arrest warrant for former textiles minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin over a drugs scandal. Shahabuddin had been President Asif Ali Zardari's first choice to succeed Gilani.

The lower house of parliament has been summoned to vote in the new prime minister at 5:30 pm (1230 GMT) on Friday.

“Raja Pervez Ashraf is our candidate,” senior party official Syed Khursheed Shah told a news conference, hinting that the government could call an election before its mandate expires early next year.

“This is election year and we are going towards elections,” Shah said.

“If we have committed some mistakes or did not fulfill our manifesto, then the decision should be left to the people of Pakistan.”

The new premier will face the same pressure to write to the Swiss, sparking speculation that elections due early next year could be brought forward.

Opinion

Editorial

An inexplicable delay
03 Oct, 2022

An inexplicable delay

AFTER a flurry of activity a couple of months ago, geared towards filling the vacancies in the apex court — an...
Dire situation
Updated 03 Oct, 2022

Dire situation

If there is any time for the civilian leadership to show unity, it is now.
Russian annexation
03 Oct, 2022

Russian annexation

AS Russia and the West play a zero-sum game in Ukraine, Moscow’s official annexation of four Ukrainian regions it...
Spy games
Updated 02 Oct, 2022

Spy games

The audios leaked so far appear to have been carefully curated: they apply pressure but do not do major damage.
‘Geopolitical football’
02 Oct, 2022

‘Geopolitical football’

THE US-China rivalry is by all measures one of the globe’s most dangerous competitions for power and influence. ...
Fuel price reduction
02 Oct, 2022

Fuel price reduction

ISHAQ Dar is back; so are his signature policies. The reduction of a little over 5pc in fuel prices announced by him...