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Zardari Nominates Party Stalwart For Pakistani PM Post

June 21, 2012

Reports from Pakistan say President Asif Ali Zardari has nominated Makhdoom Shahabuddin, a veteran loyalist of the ruling party and current textiles minister, to be Pakistan’s next prime minister.

The pick follows the Supreme Court’s ouster of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in connection with a possible criminal investigation targeting Zardari.

Shahabuddin is a stalwart of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

The National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, where the Peoples Party has a majority, is expected to meet in a special session on June 22 to vote Shahabuddin into the prime minister's post.

The Supreme Court dismissed Gilani from office on June 19. He had been convicted in April of contempt for refusing to ask Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against President Zardari, who heads the Peoples Party, to which Gilani also belongs.

Gilani argued that Zardari has full immunity as head of state.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP


Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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