August 21, 2017

Pakistani lawmakers elect Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as interim prime minister

02 August 2017, 08:29 | Christie Tate

In Pakistan : Parliament to elect new prime minister on Tuesday

Pak Parl to elect Nawaz Sharif's successor tomorrow

It should be mentioned that Nawaz Sharif had taken a majority of 224 votes from the lower house when he contested in voting for premiership.

The lower house, which is dominated by lawmakers from Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), selected Abbasi by 221 votes of 305 votes cast.

"There would be another Supreme Court where there would be no JIT, and where we will depose that Nawaz Sharif never indulged in corruption", he said. He stepped down, quickly selecting his brother to replace him.

"The nomination of Shahbaz Sharif as the next prime minister won't bring political stability, it will strengthen the culture of dynastic politics", said political analyst Abid Hassan.

Pakistan's ruling Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had nominated Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to serve as the interim minister.

"We will continue taking hard decisions", Abbasi said as he promised to take action against "private militias" providing security to citizens.

The PML-N and its coalition partners command a 209-seat majority in the assembly. There was no immediate confirmation of when the vote would take place.

"He'll step up to the plate". He is now serving his third term as Punjab's chief minister.

Opposition parties have fielded five candidates against Abbasi ahead of Tuesday's election.

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Parliament will convene on Tuesday afternoon for the vote.

As a sweetener, the short-term replacement could be offered another cabinet position, or his existing role - until last week he was the minister of petroleum and natural resources. In order to become the prime minister, he would have to be elected first.

The owner of Airblue, a private Pakistani airline established in 2003, Abbasi was also associated with the Pakistan International Airlines as its chairman from 1997 to 1999 until General Pervez Musharraf seized power. His father, who had been a federal minister in General Zia ul Haq's government, was killed in Rawalpindi in 1988 when a stray missile struck the vehicle he was travelling in, after an ammunition dump exploded.

Sharif resigned on Friday, shortly after the top court ruled that he face corruption charges over concealing assets — specifically that his son's Dubai-based company had listed a monthly salary for him. The PML-N has consistently and noisily denied the accusations, insisting that the dynasty's wealth was acquired legally through Sharif family businesses in Pakistan and the Gulf.

Besides JUI-F, Aftab Sherpao's QWP, which has recently ended its alliance with PTI in KP, and FATA members are also expected to support PML-N's Abbasi.

The Sharif name has already proven to be remarkably resilient.

"Everybody wants the (prime minister's) chair". But observers viewed the decision as a continuation of dynastic politics of Pakistan.

"I won't say (her political career is) dead in the water".

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