Nawaz Sharif plans to contest by-election

Pakistan's former premier Nawaz Sharif is planning to contest by-elections, his spokesman said Tuesday, which could make him eligible to run for prime minister in the newly-elected government.

Nawaz Sharif plans to contest by-election
His politician brother Shahbaz Sharif will also stand, said Siddiqul Farooq, spokesman for the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), which emerged as the second biggest party in last week's parliamentary elections.

"Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif will contest by-elections," Farooq said. "There is no dearth of vacant seats and the Sharifs can contest by-elections without any problem."

The PML-N has joined forces with slain former premier Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP), which won the most seats in the February 18 polls. The two parties trounced the allies of President Pervez Musharraf.

Election officials barred the Sharif brothers from running in the general election, citing criminal convictions dating back to events surrounding a 1999 coup and pending criminal charges.

They will now have to reapply to the authorities.

If Sharif wins a seat, he could then be put forward as a candidate for prime minster. He has twice served in the top job, before he was ousted by Musharraf in 1999 and sent into exile.

The coalition partners have, however, said that PPP will choose the prime minster. Vice Chairman Makhdoom Amin Fahim, a party loyalist who was close to Bhutto, is widely expected to be named when parliament convenes next month.

A number of constituencies will hold by-elections in the coming weeks, mostly after candidates' deaths or because politicians gave up seats after winning in more than one constituency.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Şubat 2008, 10:16