ISLAMABAD, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan People's Party (PPP) of President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday nominated senior party leader, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, for the office of Prime Minister, a day after the country's Supreme Court disqualified Yusuf Raza Gilani, local media reported.
The decision was made at a meeting of senior PPP's members of parliament and senior leaders, who met in Islamabad to discuss the court's verdict and to nominate new Prime Minister.
President Asif Ali Zardari, who is also co-chairman of the PPP, presided over the meeting and was also attended by former Prime Minister Gilani.
The President has summoned the National Assembly session to meet on Friday to elect new Prime Minister.
A schedule has also been announced to submit nomination papers for the office of the Prime Minister with the National Assembly secretariat on Thursday.
There was no official word on the development from the PPP or the presidency but TV channels reported that the meeting agreed on the name of Makhdoom Shahabuddin.
President Zardari earlier chaired a meeting of heads of allied parties and took them into confidence on the current political situation. The meeting was attended among others by former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.
Sources say that both meetings had authorized President Zardari to pick the new Prime Minister.
Reports said that PPP lawmakers expressed reservations over the Supreme Court's verdict and also suggested constitutional amendments to clearly define the role of all institutions.
The meeting agreed on the candidature of Shahabuddin, a PPP loyalist and a former minister. Shahabuddin belongs to the southern part of Punjab province and member of the National Assembly from Rahim Yar Khan district.
Sources close to the PPP say that leaders of allied parties assured President Zardari of their full support for the election of the new Prime Minister during two meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Analysts say that by nomination of Shahabuddin, the PPP wants to strengthen its position in southern parts of Punjab province, the country's biggest province which plays key role in government formation. Shahabuddin belongs to a spiritual family and is custodian of the shrine of a Sufi saint.
The main opposition Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) has also decided to field its candidate for the office of Prime Minister and has started to contact other political parties including coalition partners of the PPP.
The PML-N plans to field Mehtab Khan Abbasi, a former minister and a party central leader from northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, the party sources said.
Several leaders of the opposition group are trying to win support of other parties to give tough time to the candidate of the majority PPP.