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Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and candidates from the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party filed their nomination papers for the premiership election scheduled for Wednesday.
Sharif, who served two nonconsecutive terms as prime minister in the 1990s, is widely expected to be elected to a third term.
The premiership election pits Sharif, whose Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz won an absolute majority 186 seats in the 342-member National Assembly in the May 11 general election, against Amin Faheem of PPP, which led the previous government and is now the second biggest party in the assembly with 40 seats.
Also in the race is Javed Hashmi of PTI, the political party of former cricket hero Imran Khan, which won 35 seats.
Ahsan Iqbal of PML-N told reporters his party is trying to prevail upon the competing parties to withdraw their nominations and elect Sharif as a consensus prime minister.
In negotiations earlier this week between PML-N and PPP, the latter withdrew its nominations for speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly and voted for the PML-N candidates, who were elected to the two positions on Monday.