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Saturday, March 01, 2008

First Fissure in PPP

This appears to be the first public fissure in PPP. Until yesterday Makhdoom Amin Fahim was a shoo in for the PM's slot. He met with some unnamed persons of influence without informing Asif Zardfari apriori. So apparently Zardari dropped him from contention according to news reports.

How do we view this?

Makhdoom was the first choice in all deliberations of the CEC. What gave? Who are his enemies in the coterie around Zardari who do not want him? They must have used their influence to ease him out and replace with a candidate from Punjab.

While this would become public knowledge soon, we will mark this as the first public fissure in PPP and as an attempt by interim co chairman Zardari to publicly assert his control.

Gillani emerges frontrunner for PM slot

By Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: With ominous signs that the next PPP prime minister would not be from Sindh, former Speaker Yousuf Raza Gillani has emerged as the main frontrunner, with Shah Mehmud Qureshi and Ahmed Mukhtar of Gujrat also in the run.

PPP sources, however, say Gillani, a senior PPP Vice Chairman who was kept in jail for many years on frivolous charges, is the choice of Asif Zardari. Interestingly, at an off-the-record briefing for Islamabad journalists on Friday night, Gillani was the only candidate present.

PPP sources say Asif Ali Zardari himself is very firm on not contesting the PM election and wants to stay as the ‘kingmaker” in the Sonia Gandhi model, keeping the government of national consensus together.

Makhdoom Amin Fahim appears to have run into some problems because of his reported meetings with some important people in Islamabad without the knowledge of Zardari. He is said to have informed the Co-chairman about the meetings afterwards.


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