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Pakistan’s ex-PM Sharif names brother Shahbaz as successor

Islamabad, Pakistan | AFP |  Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif named his brother Shahbaz, the chief minister of Punjab province, as his successor and nominated ex-oil minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as an interim premier in a defiant speech Saturday.

“I support Shahbaz Sharif after me but he will take time to contest elections so for the time being I nominate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi,” Sharif said in a televised speech to his party.

The announcement came one day after Pakistan’s Supreme Court ousted Sharif Friday after an investigation into corruption allegations against him and his family, bringing to an unceremonious end his historic third term in power.

The younger Sharif holds only a provincial seat, so must be elected to the national assembly before becoming the new prime minister.

Abbasi is set to be rubber-stamped as placeholder in a parliamentary vote, with Sharif’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz commanding a majority in the 342-seat house.

The opposition could also field a candidate for the premiership, though the nominee has little chance of getting sufficient votes.

 

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