Islamabad: The ruling PML-N of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is poised to name former Sindh Governor Mamnoon Hussain as its candidate for Pakistan`s presidential election on August 6.
Hussain emerged the strongest contender for the top office out of three candidates shortlisted by the PML-N after days of extensive consultations, party leaders said today.
Senior PML-N leader Tariq Azeem, a close aide of Sharif, told a news agency that Hussain was the "likely" candidate of the ruling party though a formal decision about the nomination will be announced later by the leadership.
Hussain is an old loyalist of Sharif and remained with the PML-N during the regime of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who exiled Sharif to Saudi Arabia and created a new party by breaking the PML-N.
He served as Governor of southern Sindh province for a short period during June-October 1999 and lost the post after Musharraf led a military coup against Sharif.
Hussain belongs to Sindh and lives in Karachi, where he owns a textile business.
Tomorrow is the last day for submitting nominations for the election to choose a successor to President Asif Ali Zardari.
Zardari has announced he will not seek a second term and his Pakistan People`s Party has nominated Raza Rabbani while Imran Khan`s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party has picked former judge Wajihuddin Ahmad as its candidate.
The PML-N is set to win the election in a triangular race but a joint opposition candidate may pose a threat to the ruling party`s man.
Zardari`s term will expire on September 8.