Multan/Lahore - Former prime minister and PPP Senior Vice Chairman Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday resigned from his party office while Punjab Governor Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmud also announced to resign from the governorship.

“I admit my mistakes and faults and resign from senior vice chairmanship of the party,” Gillani declared, addressing a news conference here at Multan Press Club. Answering a query, the former PM said he was not resigning over differences in the party or on demand from President Zardari or kidnapping of his son Ali Haider Gilani. He said it was just to give room to new leadership.

He asserted that PPP would play the role of an effective opposition along with its allies. He said he wanted to cut the term of the National Assembly to four years, but did not do so for fear of a severe reaction from the opposition.

Gilani said the Election 2013 looked like the Election 1997 and everything would become quite clear soon. “Everyone will start understanding after four days what had happened in the elections and how these were conducted,” he maintained. The ex-PM said loadshedding played a key role in the party’s defeat. “All those who claim to end loadshedding in three years want to take the credit of our projects,” he claimed. He said President Asif Ali Zardari was not responsible for PPP’s defeat. He strongly supported MQM and said it was an important ally of the PPP government.

To another query on his son’s kidnapping, he told journalists that there was no development in the case.

Meanwhile, Punjab Governor Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmud on Monday sent his resignation to President Asif Ali Zardari, saying new people should come forward.

Makhdoom left for his hometown, Rahim Yar Khan, after announcing his resignation at a news conference and would be back after a couple of days because Zardari is unlikely to accept his resignation till the oath-taking of Nawaz Sharif as the new prime minister who may advise him to appoint a new one.

If the president accepts Makhdoom’s resignation forthwith, Mir Hazar Khan Khoso could advise him to appoint a new governor. Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Iqbal can also act as the governor for the time being.

Accepting responsibility for his party’s defeat in the general elections, PPP Central Punjab President Manzoor Wattoo also resigned from his office.

“Yes, I have resigned from my position as the party’s Central Punjab president, accepting responsibility for the defeat of the party candidates,” he told The Nation.

Wattoo, however, blamed some unseen forces for PPP’s defeat. “It is the result of a conspiracy hatched against PPP by certain forces,” he added. When asked to name those forces which conspired against his party, Wattoo said he could not say anything at this stage, but definitely certain forces were at play to keep PPP out of power corridors.

He said his party had received complaints of rigging in many constituencies. “We are collecting information and the evidence and approach the Election Commission of Pakistan soon,” he said.

When asked what prompted him to resign if PPP’s defeat was the outcome of a pre-planned rigging, Wattoo replied: “Apparently, we have lost the elections and I have accepted the defeat.”

He said he would bring some facts about the rigging before the media at a news conference soon.