ajk-pollsAFP-670
A woman casts her vote at a polling station, June 26, 2011. — Photo by AFP/File

ISLAMABAD, Oct 14: The Pakistan People’s Party and its coalition partner Pakistan Muslim League-Q have finalised an arrangement for contesting the next elections jointly.

PPP leaders endorsed the plan at a meeting on Friday, according to sources in the presidency.

The two parties have also decided to field joint candidates for nine seats of the National Assembly and provincial assemblies in the by-elections to be held on Nov 17 and 27, the sources told Dawn.

“We have decided to field joint candidates with the Q-League in all by-elections and general elections,” Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told this correspondent. He said that under the arrangement, PML-Q’s Rehman Naseer would be the candidate of the two parties in Gujrat and PPP’s Lala Shakeelur Rehman in Gujranwala.

Political analysts are of the opinion that the electoral alliance appears to be smooth at the moment but it may come under come under pressure at the time of general elections when the two parties will decide on joint candidates, especially in Punjab. It will be quite a tough exercise.

PML-Q leader Kamil Ali Agha said joint committees set up by the two parties had met twice recently and almost finalised arrangements and the leadership had decided to field joint candidates for all seats in the by-polls and general elections.

According to the Election Commission, by-elections on three National Assembly seats (NA-107, Gujrat-IV; NA-162, Sahiwal-III; and NA-245, Karachi-VII) and five provincial assembly seats (PP-26, Jhelum-III; PP-92, Gujranwala-II; PP-122, Sialkot-II; PP-144, Lahore-VIII; and PS-21, Naushero Feroze-III) will be held on Nov 17. By-elections on two provincial assembly seats (PP-129, Sialkot-IX; and PP-133, Narowal-II) will be held on Nov 27.

“The meeting presided over by President Asif Ali Zardari in the Presidency on Friday endorsed the plan to have new bond with the PML-Q, specifically for the elections,” president’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

He said the meeting mainly discussed PPP’s strategy for the elections.

The decision was apparently taken after two major allies in the ruling coalition — Awami National Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement — had announced that they would contest the elections separately.

The PPP and Q-League have formed the special committees to give final touches to the new arrangement.

The PPP committee comprises Khurshid Ahmed Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Rana Farooq Saeed, Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, Haider Zaman Qureshi and Aamir Dogar and the PML-Q committee Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Chaudhry Zaheeruddin, Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, Kamil Ali Agha, Raja Basharat, Nasir Gil and Tariq Bashir Cheema.

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