ISLAMABAD - Both the opposition parties in the National Assembly, PML-N and JUI-F have stepped up efforts to manoeuvre political space by nominating their respective candidates for election to the powerful office of country’s next chief executive.

Although both the opposition parties have increased their contacts with PPP-allied parties and Fata group to secure support for their respective candidates sans efforts to pitch their consensus candidate.

“We do not know about the fate of Maulana Sahib, but PML-N will not withdraw its candidate,” sources in the PML-N told TheNation on Thursday, adding, party was in contact with other parliamentary parties for support. PML-N sources maintained that efforts were made to convince Maulana Fazlur Rehman but he disagreed by claiming significant support from within the PPP and its allied parties and Fata. The PML-N, apart from its own 92 MNAs in the NA, ostensibly enjoys support of only five MNAs from PML-Q to make simple majority of 172 votes required to win the slot. PML-N candidate  Sardar Mehtab Abbasi has said he would implement the orders of the SC, eliminate loadshedding and hold general elections as soon as possible. On the other hand, JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman said as the political crises could further aggravate in the prevailing circumstances, therefore, his party had offered a viable option to take the country towards next general elections if voted to power.

He said he had constructive consultative meetings with leadership of PML-Q and MQM.