Pakistan parliament to elect new prime minister

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Pakistan’s lawmakers are all set to elect a new prime minister today to replace ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, with the ruling party stalwart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi expected to become interim leader.

PakistanThe Supreme Court on Friday disqualified 67-year-old Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for dishonesty and ruled that corruption cases be filed against him and his children over the Panama Papers scandal, forcing him to resign.

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The National Assembly, lower house of parliament, has been summoned by President Mamnon Hussain today to elect the new leader of the house.

Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has nominated Abbasi as interim Prime Minister until Sharif’s brother Shehbaz is eligible.

Pakistan has seen such arrangements in the past too.

During former military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf s time, politician Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain was appointed as an interim prime minister until Shaukat Aziz, who was nominated by Musharraf, got elected by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PMLQ).

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At least five candidates of opposition parties are contesting against Abbasi as opposition leader failed to agree on a single candidate.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) put forward Awami Muslim League (AML) leader Sheikh Rashid’s name for the post of prime minister.

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Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) fielded Khursheed Shah and Naveed Qamar, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chose Kishwar Zehra, while Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) came up with Sahibzada Tariqullah.

The opposition parties are meeting today to agree on a single candidate.

But even a joint candidate cannot defeat Abbasi as his party and allies enjoy a majority in the house.

The PML-N party holds 188 seats in the 342-member parliament PTI SH

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