Nawaz Sharif still in the race for the prime ministerial slot say PML-N leaders

     Lahore, Feb 12 (PTI) PML-N supremo and three-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is still in the race for the prime ministerial slot despite his party not securing a simple majority in the general elections in Pakistan, PML-N leaders said on Monday.
     “We are having discussion with Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) over power-sharing formula in the upcoming coalition government in the Centre and Nawaz Sharif cannot be ruled out as the prime ministerial candidate,” Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Senator Irfan Saddique told a private news channel.
     He said Nawaz Sharif, 74, is the candidate for the prime minister slot from the PML-N.
     “Had we got a simple majority, Nawaz would have been the prime minister. However, under the current equation in the Parliament, Nawaz is still in the race for the post of Prime Minister,” Saddique said.
     A senior leader of PML-N from Punjab told PTI on Monday that serious deliberations are underway and names of both Nawaz Sharif and his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif, 72, are being considered for the top slot.
     “Nawaz Sharif has a wish to become Prime Minister for the fourth time. And it appears if Nawaz decides then he will be the prime minister,” he added.
     As the PML-N wants to keep the slot of the prime minister, in return it has reportedly offered coveted slots of the President, National Assembly speaker, and the Senate chairman to the PPP.
     “PPP’s Asif Ali Zardari is likely to be the President of Pakistan if PPP agrees to give the Prime Minister's slot to the PML-N,” the senior PML-N leader said.
     Meanwhile, three party chiefs – Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan's Sirajul Haq, Istehkama-i-Pakistan Party (IPP) Jahangir Khan Tareen, and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Parliamentarian (PTI-P) Pervaiz Khattak – on Monday resigned after their parties failed to win a significant number of seats.
     Both IPP and PTI-P were carved out of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)