ISLAMABAD - Honouring the unanimous demand of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of Pakistan People's Party, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has decided to run for the office of president of Pakistan. PPP Deputy Secretary General and Leader of the House in Senate Mian Raza Rabbani announced this at a Press conference here at Zardari House on Saturday night. Flanked by Federal Minister for Information Sherry Rehman and Federal Minister for Labour, Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis Syed Khurshid Shah, the Leader of House in the Senate said that before the party's CEC, the PPP parliamentary parties of Sindh and Punjab chapters had also adopted resolutions calling upon Asif Zardari to put his stake on the slot of president. Later the parliamentary party in National Assembly and Senate also came up with similar request, he added. Rabbani said that the PPP had intimated the coalition partners about its decision and in that connection he had gone to Lahore along with senior party leaders to take Mian Nawaz Sharif into confidence. To a question about the response of Nawaz Sharif on PPP's nomination of Asif Zardari for the slot of president, Rabbani said that Nawaz Sharif had said that he would place the matter before the CEC of his party and then would return to them with its response. Responding to a question about the delay in the restoration of the judges, Rabbani said that PPP was abiding by all the agreements, be it about the reinstatement of the deposed judges or the restoration of the 1973 Constitution in true letter and spirit. "Keeping in view the sacrifices of Benazir Bhutto and after detailed consultations, it was decided that Asif Zardari should run for the office of the president," Rabbani said. When his attention was drawn towards the earlier decision of the party that before the elections of the president of Pakistan, the 17th Constitutional Amendment and Article 58-2(b) would be scrapped, Rabbani said that the history of PPP was full of glorious struggle for the supremacy of parliamentary democracy and it enjoyed the honour in the whole world for being the only political party with two of its chairmen, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, who had lost their lives fighting against the dictatorial forces of the country. He further said that under the Constitution after the vacation of the office of president, the elections for the next president should be done within 30 days and added that all the promises and commitment made with the coalition partners would be fulfilled after the election of the president of Pakistan. Rabbani said that his party was committed to the Charter of Democracy signed with the other political forces in the country and things would be put in right frame, be it the issue of judges or restoration of true parliamentary system of governance in the country. To a question about the statement of JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman expressing skepticism about the restoration of the judges, Rabbani said that it was his personal viewpoint and he would not comment on it right now. He further said that PPP considered former President Musharraf as root cause of all the economic and political ills and now when the political forces had ousted the dictator, he believed that issues, being faced by the people, would be resolved in due course. Agencies add: The fragile ruling coalition remains at odds over several issues, including the reinstatement of judges sacked by Musharraf last year. Political instability and a nosediving economy have alarmed Western nations looking for continuity after the departure of Musharraf, a key US ally, but talks between the PPP and Sharif's party have so far failed to make headway. PML-N spokesman Siddiqul Farooq said the issue of whether Zardari would stand for the presidency was the PPP's 'own decision', not that of the coalition partners. "It is the PPP's own decision and it has nothing to do with the coalition," Farooq said. "We do not want a civilian president with the same powers that Musharraf had, mainly the power to dissolve parliament," he added. "Our top priority is restoration of the judges and we want it done on Monday," Farooq insisted, adding that the party would meet in Islamabad on Monday to discuss the latest developments. Key facts BORN: July 21, 1956 in Karachi. FAMILY: His wife, Benazir Bhutto, was twice prime minister. She was assassinated December 27, 2007, while campaigning for re-election after eight years of self-exile. Three children, a 19-year-old son, Bilawal, a student at Oxford University, and two teenage daughters, Bakhtawar and Asifa. POLITICS: Succeeded his late wife as head of the Pakistan People's Party. LEGAL WOES: Zardari was nicknamed 'Mr 10 Percent' for allegedly receiving kickbacks on government contracts during his wife's terms as prime minister. He spent eight years in jail for alleged corruption, a charge he and his wife said was politically motivated. " Zardari served as an MNA and as Environment Minister during the second term of his wife's premiership. " His last position in the government of Pakistan was as senator until 1999, when the Senate and assemblies were dissolved by then Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf, who took over the reins of the government in a coup against the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. " In 1990, Zardari was arrested on the charges of blackmailing based on the allegations that he attached a bomb to a Pakistani businessman, Murtaza Bukhari, and forced him to withdraw money from his bank account. However, the charges were dropped when he was released from prison in 1993 when his wife's PPP took power and forced the charges out. " He was kept in custody from 1997 to 2004 on the charges ranging from corruption to murder. He was granted bail and released in November 2004 when a judge released him under great pressure. However, he was re-arrested on December 21, 2004, after his failure to attend a hearing in a murder trial in Karachi.