Pakistani President calls National Assembly session for interim PM election

Islamabad [Pakistan] : After the Pakistani Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif as the country’s Prime Minister, Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain has called a session of the National Assembly on August 1 for the election of an interim prime minister.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is set to nominate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as the interim prime minister following Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification.

According to media reports, Abbasi’s name was agreed upon in the meeting of the PML-N‘s advisory meeting by all members on Saturday.

The final nomination will be recognised in the party’s parliamentary meeting.

After the interim prime minister is elected, a new cabinet will be formed.

Abbasi previously served as the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources in the third Sharif’s ministry from 2013 to 2017 and briefly held the cabinet portfolio of Minister for Commerce and Ministry of Defence Production in the Gillani ministry in 2008.

Abbasi is an elected member of the National Assembly of Pakistan since 1988, representing Rawalpindi.

Meanwhile, the party has announced Punjab Chief Minister and Nawaz Sharif‘s younger brother Shehbaz Sharif as the next Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Shehbaz will steer the country until the next general elections scheduled for 2018.

On Friday, the Supreme Court five-judge larger bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa unanimously announced the Panamagate verdict leading to Sharif’s disqualification.

The apex court ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file a reference against the accused in an accountability court in six weeks, directing for the trial to be concluded within six months.

It is the second time in Pakistan’s 70-year history that the Supreme Court has disqualified a sitting prime minister. In 2012 then prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was disqualified over contempt of court charges for refusing to reopen a corruption case against the sitting president Asif Ali Zardari.

Also no Pakistani prime minister has ever completed a full five-year elected term. Most tenures have been cut short by military coups.

While serving as the country’s Prime Minister in 1993, Sharif was sacked by the then-president over graft allegations, while in 1999 he was ousted in a military coup.

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