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Pakistan Parliament to elect Nawaz Sharif’s successor today

PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is not expected to face any problems in being elected as the placeholder prime minister as the party has a comfortable majority in Pakistan’s Parliament.

world Updated: Aug 01, 2017 07:26 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Pakistan Supreme Court,PLM-N,Pakistan new prime minister
Pakistan's premier-designate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi speaks to the media after meeting Maulana Fazlur Rehman, chief of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, in Islamabad on July 30, 2017. Pakistan's parliament will meet on Tuesday to elect a new premier after the disqualification of three-term prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The PML-N party nominated Sharif's longtime loyalist Abbasi for the top slot on Saturday. (AP)

PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday submitted papers in Parliament to be elected Pakistan’s placeholder prime minister, a post he will hold till former premier Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shehbaz can take over.

The Parliament will elect a new leader of the House on Tuesday to replace Sharif, who was ousted by the top court for not being honest after an investigative panel concluded he had not declared salary due to him from his son’s UAE-based firm. The probe was conducted after the Panama Papers leaks revealed Sharif’s three children owned offshore assets.

Abbasi, a leading businessman and founder of the airblue private airline, filed his nomination papers in the Parliament Secretariat. Speaking to the media, he said the PML-N will win the election of the prime minister with a majority and the party will decide on members of the new cabinet soon after.

“The policies which continued till 12:30 pm on Friday will persist during my premiership,” Abbasi said, referring to the Supreme Court’s verdict which disqualified Sharif.

“I hope that God will help me in furthering Nawaz Sharif’s policies,” he added.

Sharif, who has denied any wrongdoing, announced on Saturday that his younger brother, Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif, would be his successor. Since it will take about two months for Shehbaz to be elected to the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament, Sharif nominated Abbasi as the interim prime minister.

The PML-N has a majority with 188 seats in the 342-member Parliament and is expected to get additional votes from its allies to take the total to 214. The party should be able to swiftly install its choice, barring any defections from its own ranks.

First Published: Jul 31, 2017 16:12 IST