Pakistan's Sharifs maintain dominance in politics despite court's disqualification of Nawaz Sharif

Jerome Frank
July 31, 2017

Nawaz Sharif has resigned as prime minister of Pakistan following a decision by the country's Supreme Court to disqualify him from office.

Pakistan's ruling party plans to appoint the brother of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as his successor to fight the 2018 general elections, local media reported on Saturday, but will first have to appoint an interim prime minister.

As PML-N enjoys majority support in the parliament, Shahbaz Sharif will not face any serious challenge from the opposition parties, which are involved in consultations to field a joint candidate to challenge Shahbaz Sharif.

For the interim period of 45 days, Mr. Abbasi will fill in his slot. "However, [it is up to] Nawaz Sharif to decide whether Hamza will be the right choice for the post or not", said a senior PML-N legislator from Punjab.

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

With Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif disqualified by the country's top court and out of his job, questions are swirling over who will succeed him as head of government.

Lalit Mansingh, who was foreign secretary from 1999-2000, too said political instability in Pakistan will further embolden the army and in such a scenario, it will more aggressively push terror activities against India.

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The ruling party is moving fast to quell the political turmoil following Nawaz Sharif's ousting, the second world leader to be felled by last year's so-called Panama Papers leak.

The decision was made at a meeting of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chaired by the former prime minister in Islamabad.

Shehbaz is not a member of the National Assembly or Senate, and in order to be appointed as the Prime Minister of the country, he will have to get elected to the Senate.

Sharif contends that he never withdrew that salary, and was therefore not liable to declare it.

As the verdict was announced in Islamabad opposition supporters erupted in applause, rushing into the street chanting slogans and handing out candies in celebration.

"Some people urged me to resign, but I told them that it is not a bed of roses, but a bed of thorns that I am sitting on, and my conscience is telling me not to resign because I did nothing wrong", he said. However, he was not allowed to contest the general elections in 2008 due to the murder charges. He was sworn in as the chief minister of Punjab on February 20, 1997, after being elected to the Assembly for the third time.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Election Commission confirmed that a new vote would be held in Nawaz Sharif's electoral constituency.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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