Pakistan elects new prime minister on Tuesday, 1st August

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In this handout photograph released by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on July 29, 2017 shows Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif addressing his party in Islamabad. Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif named his brother Shahbaz, the chief minister of Punjab province, as his successor and nominated ex-oil minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as an interim premier in a defiant speech on July 29. Handout / PML-N / AFP

Pakistan’s parliament will meet on Tuesday to elect a new prime minister after the Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif following an investigation into corruption allegations against his family.

The ruling party named Sharif’s younger brother Shahbaz as his successor over the weekend, but he must first enter Parliament by contesting the seat left vacant by Sharif.

In the meantime, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which enjoys a majority in parliament, has nominated ex-oil minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as interim prime minister.

The top court ousted Sharif Friday after an investigation into corruption allegations against him and his family, bringing his historic third term in power to an unceremonious end.

“The nomination papers — shall be delivered to the Secretary, National Assembly by 2.00 pm, on Monday,” said a notification by the National Assembly Secretariat and seen by AFP.

It said the assembly would meet at 3:00 pm Tuesday (1000 GMT) for the “election of the Prime Minister”.

The younger Sharif — who is chief minister of the country’s most populous province of Punjab — has so far been unscathed by the corruption allegations engulfing his brother’s family.

However, he only holds only a provincial seat and therefore must be elected to the national assembly before becoming prime minister.

On Saturday the Election Commission said fresh elections would be held in Nawaz Sharif’s former constituency, in the family’s power base in Punjab, in a process that could take up to 45 days.

Abbasi is set to be rubber-stamped as the placeholder in the parliamentary vote.

The opposition could also field a candidate but has little chance of securing enough votes in the 342-seat house.

 

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