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Published On: Mon, Jul 31st, 2017

Pakistani parliament to elect new prime minister on Tuesday

Opposition plans rally amid condemnation of plan to install Nawaz Sharif ally as interim PM until Sharifs brother is eligible

Pakistans parliament will elect a new prime minister on Tuesday to replace ousted leader Nawaz Sharif, with ruling party stalwart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi expected to become interim leader until Sharifs own brother is eligible.

The confirmation from parliament came after Pakistans president, Mamnoon Hussain, convened a special session following Sharifs decision to put forward his ally Abbasi as interim leader and named his brother Shahbaz, 65, as long-term successor.

Critics slammed Sharifs Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) partys plans as dynastic and undemocratic, while the opposition leader, Imran Khan, called it a form of monarchy.

Khans Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, which held street protests until the supreme court agreed to investigate Sharif, planned to hold a rally in Islamabad on Sunday to celebrate his removal.

Sharifs PML-N holds a majority with 188 seats in the 342-member parliament, so it should be able to swiftly install its choice, barring any defections from its own ranks.

A quick handover could ease political upheaval sparked by the supreme courts decision on Friday to disqualify Sharif for not declaring a source of income. The court also ordered a criminal investigation into him and his family.

Sharif has lashed out against the courts decision and opponents who used the supreme court to topple him, but vowed his party would continue to focus on economic development, touting a faster-growing economy as proof of his success.

Wheel of development is moving and may God keep it rolling and may it never stop, he told members of the PML-N on Saturday night. On Sharifs arrival, supporters chanted: The Lion is here.

The turmoil and the premature end to Sharifs third stint in power has raised questions about Pakistans democracy, as no prime minister has completed a full term in power since independence from British colonial rule in 1947.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/30/pakistan-lawmakers-to-elect-new-prime-minister-on-tuesday

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Pakistani parliament to elect new prime minister on Tuesday