Pakistan lawmakers will elect premier
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s Parliament will meet Tuesday to elect a new prime minister after the disqualification of three-term prime minister Nawaz Sharif, as thousands gathered in the capital Islamabad on Sunday to voice support for opposition leader Imran Khan.
Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League party 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 needs only 172 votes.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court disqualified Sharif from office on Friday on accusations of 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.