Islamabad: Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was elected the 25th Prime Minister of Pakistan on Friday.
Mr Ashraf, 61, was PPP co-chairman and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's second choice for the Prime Minister's post. He became the main candidate after an arrest warrant was issued against the party's first nominee, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, for alleged irregularities during his tenure as Health Minister.
Mr Ashraf, a senior PPP leader, hails from a royal family of Rawalpindi in Punjab. He was born in the Sanghar district of southern Sindh province on December 26, 1950.
A strong loyalist of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's family, Mr Ashraf was secretary-general of the PPP (Parliamentarians), a party formed in 2002 by the Pakistan Peoples Party for the purpose of complying with electoral rules governing Pakistani parties. The party contested the 2002 elections while former Prime Minister Ms Bhutto was living in self-imposed exile.
Mr Ashraf was elected to the National Assembly from Gujar Khan constituency in Rawalpindi district in the elections in 2002 and 2008. He has served twice in the cabinet of Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was disqualified as Prime Minister by the Supreme Court on Tuesday (June 19). He has held the Power and Information Technology portfolios.
Like Mr Shahabuddin, Mr Ashraf is also facing a probe by the National Accountability Court for alleged corruption in rental power projects during his tenure as Water and Power Minister.
He resigned from Mr Gilani's cabinet in February last year after allegations of corruption in power projects. He returned to the cabinet in April this year when he was appointed as Minister for Information Technology.
Mr Ashraf's candidature for the Prime Minister was backed by PML-Q, a major ally of the PPP which has more than 50 seats in the National Assembly.
Story first published:
June 22, 2012 14:38 IST