Pakistan's Ex-PM Nawaz Sharif Names Brother Shehbaz As Successor

Shehbaz's ascension to the Prime Minister's office was considered to be a foregone conclusion, as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) enjoys a majority in Parliament.

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Pakistan's Ex-PM Nawaz Sharif Names Brother Shehbaz As Successor

Nawaz Sharif named his brother Shehbaz as his successor. (AFP Photo)

Islamabad: 

Highlights

  1. Former Petroleum Minister Shahid Abbasi to be Pak's interim PM
  2. Mr Abbasi will hold office till Shahbaz Sharif is elected as PM
  3. PML-N enjoys majority, Shehbaz's ascension expected to be smooth
Pakistan's ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif Saturday named former petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as the interim prime minister until his younger brother Shehbaz is elected as a member of parliament to succeed him as his eventual successor.

"I support Shehbaz Sharif after me but he will take time to contest elections so for the time being I nominate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi," Sharif told his supporters.

The decision was taken in a meeting headed by Nawaz Sharif and attended by top leaders of his party.

Shehbaz Sharif, 65, who is the Punjab Chief Minister and brother of Nawaz Sharif will have to be elected as a member of parliament to succeed him as his eventual successor.

Mr Abbasi, the 58-year-old loyalist of Sharif, will hold the office of PM of Pakistan for an interim period of 45 days and will resign to let Shehbaz succeed as permanent premier, party sources said.

The PML-N enjoys a majority in the parliament and so Shehbaz's ascension is expected to be smooth. But since Shehbaz Sharif is also the Chief Minister of Punjab, he will have to step down and forego his seat in the Punjab Assembly of Pakistan.

Other contenders for the post included Rana Tanveer, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Ahsan Iqbal, Saad Rafique. Sources say Mr Abbasi was chosen over Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer, who was a strong contender for the post.

The Supreme Court on Friday disqualified 67-year-old Nawaz Sharif for dishonesty and ruled that corruption cases be filed against him and his children over the Panama Papers scandal, forcing the embattled leader out of office.

The court's ruling abruptly ended Mr Sharif's third tenure as prime minister and forced the party's top leadership to find his successor.

Pakistan has seen such arrangements in the past too. During former military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf's time, politician Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain was appointed as an interim prime minister until Shaukat Aziz, who was nominated by Musharraf, got elected by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PMLQ).

(with inputs from PTI)

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