Philippine Daily Inquirer - - WORLD - —AP

IS­LAM­ABAD— Pak­istan’s par­lia­ment will meet on Tues­day to elect a new prime min­is­ter af­ter the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of three-term Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif.

Sharif’s Pak­istan Mus­lim League party, which en­joys a com­fort­able ma­jor­ity in par­lia­ment, nom­i­nated Sharif’s long­time loy­al­ist Shahid Khaqan Ab­basi for the top slot on Sat­ur­day.

Sharif pro­posed Ab­basi as in­terim prime min­is­ter un­til his brother Shah­baz Sharif, who is the chief min­is­ter of Pun­jab prov­ince, can con­tend in a by- elec­tion for the seat left va­cant by his brother’s dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

The op­po­si­tion is ex­pected to name a can­di­date to chal­lenge Abassi in a vote in par­lia­ment, but the six-time law­maker is ex­pected to win.

Sharif’s party holds 188 of 342 seats in par­lia­ment’s lower house and with ad­di­tional votes from its al­lies, is ex­pected to ob­tain 214 votes. To win the top slot, Ab­basi only needs 172 votes.

Pak­istan’s Supreme Court dis­qual­i­fied Sharif from of­fice on Fri­day for not be­ing hon­est and con­ceal­ing as­sets. The probe against him be­gan af­ter his chil­dren were named in the leaked so-called Panama papers for own­ing off­shore ac­counts and prop­er­ties.

Sharif’s party has re­solved to file a re­view pe­ti­tion in the Supreme Court to re­v­erse the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

The probe was trig­gered by pe­ti­tions filed by the con­ser­va­tive Ja­maat-e-Is­lami party and cricket player-turned­politi­cian Im­ran Khan. Khan is cel­e­brat­ing Sharif’s ouster on Sun­day in Is­lam­abad.

The three-term prime min­is­ter has a his­tory of rocky re­la­tions with Pak­istan’s pow­er­ful mil­i­tary and he has been re­moved from of­fice three times.

Sharif was first elected as prime min­is­ter in 1990 and was hardly half way through his five-year ten­ure when he was re­moved from of­fice by the Army’s hand­picked pres­i­dent in 1993.

Sharif made a come­back in the 1997 elec­tions, but again his gov­ern­ment was top­pled by then Army chief Gen. Pervez Mushar­raf in a blood­less coup in Oc­to­ber 1999.

Sharif was tried for al­leged hi­jack­ing, con­victed and given a life prison sen­tence but later was ex­iled to Saudi Ara­bia. He re­turned to the coun­try in 2007 af­ter Be­nazir Bhutto struck a deal with Mushar­raf.

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