Raja Parvez Ashraf will be the official candidate for the post of Pakistan Prime Minister. This was announced in Islamabad on Friday afternoon; just a few hours ahead of polling for the post in the National Assembly on Friday evening.
The announcement came an hour behind schedule as the Presidency had announced late Thursday night that the final decision would be disclosed at a press conference on Friday morning at 11. Till the last minute, there was speculation about the initial front-runner Makhdoom Shahabuddin being the official candidate as he had gone to the Peshawar High Court to appeal against his non-bailable arrest warrant issued on Thursday.
Mr. Ashraf used to be the Water and Power Minister till he was dropped in February 2011, and is also involved in a case regarding rental power plants (RPP). Said to be close to President Asif Ali Zardari, the Prime-Minister-designate’s involvement in the RPP scam has earned him the nickname ‘Raja Rental’. This is his second stint in the National Assembly where he represents Gujar Khan in Rawalpindi.