Process of electing interim PM begins in Pakistan

Opponents of Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after the Supreme Court disqualified Sharif

Opponents of Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after the Supreme Court disqualified Sharif

Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party has named Shahbaz Sharif, younger brother of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as his successor, which means Sharifs will maintain their power in the country's politics despite disqualification of Nawaz Sharif by the country's top court on Friday.

The ruling PML-N unanimously made a decision to elevate Abbasi as the interim leader, till ousted PM Nawaz Sharif's brother Shehbaz Sharif gets elected to the National Assembly.

Sharif's PML-N party holds a comfortable majority in the lower house of parliament, and the election is expected to pass without much drama.

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

Sharif said he was pressured by the opposition to step down but refused to accept the demand because he believed the allegations levelled against him were baseless.

Mr Sharif scored a hat-trick last Friday after being ousted from office again - this time after being disqualified by the Supreme Court.

The armed forces - which is Pakistan's most powerful and organized institution - has orchestrated coups in the past and controls the nuclear-armed nation's foreign policy.

Shehbaz will steer the country until the next general elections scheduled for 2018.

New elections would be held in Nawaz Sharif's former constituency which is based in the PML-N powerbase of the Punjab process which could take up to 45 days.

As its new leader Shahbaz Sharif will face the task of steering the ruling PML-N party through political turmoil until next year's election and fending off a rising challenge from opposition leader Imran Khan who emerged as the big victor from the supreme court ruling. He is now the chief minister of Punjab, the most populous province of Pakistan.

He said history would now decide whether the court's decision was good for Pakistan. Two members of the six member investigation team looking into the Sharif family's wealth were drawn from the military's intelligence agencies, which has raised eyebrows.

Former President Pervez Musharraf has termed Supreme Court's verdict disqualifying Nawaz Sharif as "great" and "pleasant for Pakistanis".

This is the third time that Nawaz Sharif has been unable to complete his term in office.

Shahbaz Sharif and Nawaz Sharif.

He has also represented Pakistan at several global forums including the United Nations, where his views and speaking prowess were appreciated.

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