Pakistan parliament to elect new PM after Sharif ouster

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Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party has named Shahbaz Sharif, younger brother of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as his successor, which means Sharifs will maintain their power in the country's politics despite disqualification of Nawaz Sharif by the country's top court on Friday.

In a televised speech Saturday, Sharif said that his younger brother, Shahbaz, who now is chief minister in Punjab province, would contest election to the National Assembly, in the seat which fell vacant with his removal.

Nawaz's brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, has been nominated as the party's candidate for prime minister.

A name has not been announced for the interim Prime Minister, who will fill the 45-day vacuum until Shahbaz Sharif is elected to a National Assembly seat.

Political observers say the army leadership is very skeptical of Sharif due to his repeated attempts to improve ties with India and enhance trade between the two South Asian nuclear-armed archrivals.

He noted that all who "looted the nation's wealth should face a similar court action".

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In this file photo, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks to reporters outside the premises of the Joint Investigation Team in Islamabad. "The nomination of Shehbaz Sharif as the next prime minister won't bring political stability, it will strengthen the culture of dynastic politics", political analyst Abid Hassan told AFP. He was forced to step down during his first term as Prime Minister after a family-owned business, Ittefaq Industries, grew tremendously while he was in office.

Expressing his happiness with the verdict, the PTI chairman said: "I am thankful to all my supporters and the masses who played a vital role during our campaign against corruption".

Shahbaz will likely seek election to the National Assembly from Nawaz Sharif's constituency, which is a PML-N stronghold.

It was made a decision to appoint Abbasi as interim prime minister to run the government until Shehbaz is elected as a member of parliament, they said. Sharif quit after he was disqualified by the Supreme Court over undeclared assets. An election is scheduled for June of next year.

As the unanimous verdict by the five-judge Bench was read out by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan inside Supreme Court, a large number of Opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf workers celebrated outside.

Sharif was later sentenced to an additional 14 years in prison on corruption charges, but he was released after six months when Saudi Arabia brokered a deal to allow him to go into exile there. Pakistan's Election Commission will issue the date for the polls on July 28.

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