Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Pakistan ready to elect new PM

Pakistani men celebrating the dismissal of prime minister Yousuf Gilani (AP)

Pakistan's president has summoned parliament to meet on Friday to elect a new prime minister, with the outgoing textile minister emerging as the likely candidate for the job.

Yousaf Raza Gilani was dismissed on Tuesday by the Supreme Court for failing to investigate his ally President Asif Ali Zardari for corruption.

The ruling added to political instability in a country already saddled with massive economic and security problems.

But in moving quickly to install a new premier - and not defying the court order as some had predicted - the government may reduce fears of major upheaval.

The president said the national assembly would be convened on Friday afternoon.

A government official confirmed that the purpose of the meeting was to elect a new premier.

The official said that Makhdoom Shahabuddin, the outgoing textile minister, was the likely candidate, as did another member of the ruling party.

Mr Zardari's party has the largest number of seats in parliament. It currently is in government with coalition partners.

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