Elahi to be Dy PM in PPP-PMLQ `national reconciliation govt`

Zardari accepted the PML-Q`s demand that its leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi be made Deputy Prime Minister.

Updated: Apr 30, 2011, 15:51 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan`s ruling PPP and
opposition PML-Q have firmed up their plan to form a "national
reconciliation government" in which senior PML-Q leader
Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi will be appointed Deputy Premier.

The plan was given the final shape during a meeting
yesterday between PPP chief and President Asif Ali Zardari and
PML-Q head Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.

Zardari accepted the PML-Q`s demand that its leader
Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi be made Deputy Prime Minister, senior
PML-Q leader Faisal Saleh Hayat told the media.

The draft agreement between the two parties envisages
allocation of six ministries to the PML-Q, seat adjustments
for next year`s election to the Senate or upper house of
Parliament and for the general election in 2013.

The agreement was worked out by PML-Q leaders and
parliamentarian Faryal Talpur, the head of the PPP`s women`s
wing and Zardari`s sister.

Legal experts said no Constitutional amendment would be
necessary to create the post of Deputy Prime Minister.

There is no bar in the Constitution to the creation of
the post and it had been done in the past. An appointment
could be made through a notification issued by the Prime
Minister, they said.

PML-Q leader Hayat, who attended last night`s meeting
between Zardari and former premier Chaudhry Shujaat
Hussain, told the media that the two parties would formally
sign an agreement next week.

The two parties discussed several important issues,
including a long-term partnership and seat adjustments in the
next election, he said.

If the draft plan is implemented, the PML-Q is expected
to get six ministries health, trade and commerce, petroleum,
industries, agriculture and information technology and six
ministers of state, three advisers to the Prime Minister and
the post of Pakistan`s representative to the UN.

In a tacit acknowledgement of the move by the PPP and
PML-Q to forge an alliance, presidential spokesman Farhatullah
Babar said: "The meeting discussed the political situation and
realignment of political forces to face new challenges."

Information Minister Firdos Ashiq Awan told reporters the
political situation would clear up in about three days.

However, observers said that giving the post of Deputy
Prime Minister to the PML-Q could curtail the powers of
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The Premier has not been part of the negotiations
between the two parties and reports have suggested that he is
not in favour of an alliance with the PML-Q.

The PPP`s core group of leaders and parliamentary
committee have given their consent to the alliance and
authorised Zardari to finalise the deal with the PML-Q.

PPP and PML-Q leaders are expected to hold another
meeting tomorrow to give the final shape to the distribution
of ministries between the two parties.