ISLAMABAD - With debates on the president’s dual office taking rounds in the country, Asif Ali Zardari is all set to quit as the PPP co-chairman, apparently in line with the Lahore High Court’s directions to him in connection with a petition filed against his holding two offices simultaneously. It has been learnt that former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is likely to succeed to the top slot in the party in crucial stages falling ahead. “There are names of some other contenders as well, but, so far, consensus is in the favour of Gilani, keeping in view his sacrifices for the party,” said a well-placed source in the ruling group. Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar, however, expressed ignorance about any such decision, when contacted. He said it was not in his knowledge.  The Lahore High Court has adjourned the hearing of a contempt petition, filed against President Zardari for not relinquishing the political office of PPP co-chairman, until November 21. The petitioner, Munir Ahmad, through his counsels, AK Dogar and Azhar Siddique, accused Zardari of indulging in political activities whilst in the Presidency. He said the president had neither disassociated himself from the political office nor stopped ‘misusing’ the Presidency, despite a verdict from the LHC full bench against his dual offices.The petitioner contended that the use of the Presidency for political activities was illegal and tantamount to committing contempt of the court’s orders of May 12, 2011. Sources said the president with the consultation of some of his close aides had decided to step down as PPP co-chief and put this responsibility on the shoulders of Gilani. “It was decided a couple of days back”, they said of the president’s relinquishing his political office, adding that it would be made public in the days to come. Although some senior PPP members are averse to Gilani’s succession, his sacrifices for the party make him favourite for the slot. On 19 June, the Supreme Court disqualified Gilani as the country’s prime minister for adamantly flouting its order regarding writing a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Zardari. Gilani, after his toppling, voiced serious concerns over the arrest of his son, Musa Gilani, and the discontinuation of a number of projects initiated by him. In order to pacify his brewing wrath, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf took him to the Presidency, where the former premier and President Zardari held discussions on the various important matters.The Supreme Court, in its verdict in the Asghar Khan case, ruled that any election cell/political cell in the Presidency, ISI or MI or within their formation shall abolish immediately and any letter/notification to the extent of creating any such cell/department (by any name whatsoever) shall stand cancelled. It order further said that “a president, in parliamentary system of government, being head of the state represented the unity of the republic under Article 41 of the Constitution and as per the oath of his office in all circumstances he would do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill will”.