Pakistan

PML-N to approve Shahbaz nomination, stopgap prime minister today

ISLAMABAD: As erstwhile Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has proposed the name of his younger brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, for the nomination of the next prime minister, guessing game has been ongoing on who will be the party’s pick for the stopgap arrangement.

The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s (PML-N) parliamentary party will meet today to finalize the nomination of a party leader who will lead the government in the interim period.

Khawaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Tanveer, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq are among those who can be nominated for the slot.

The PML-N’s parliamentary party will formally approve the nomination of Shahbaz Sharif today. He would have to relinquish the office of Punjab chief minister and be elected to the National Assembly to become eligible for holding prime minister’s office.

A five-judge Supreme Court bench on Friday disqualified thrice-elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a unanimous verdict in the Panamagate case, thus cutting short his third stint in power.

Soon after the SC judgement, the PM House issued a terse statement saying that Nawaz Sharif, despite having reservations on the court verdict, has relinquished the office of prime minister.

Sharif served as prime minister twice in the 1990s and failed to complete his office tenure. In his first stint Nawaz Sharif stepped down after difference with than president Ghulam Ishaq Khan, while in his second tenure he was ousted in a military coup in 1999 led by General Pervez Musharraf leading to a decade of exile in Saudi Arabia. He won a third term as prime minister in May 2013 general election.

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