Islamabad: Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday named former petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as the interim prime minister until his younger brother Shehbaz is elected as a member of parliament to succeed him as his eventual successor.
“I support Shehbaz Sharif after me but he will take time to contest elections so for the time being I nominate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi,” Sharif told his supporters.
The decision was taken here in a meeting headed by Sharif and attended by the top party leaders who rallied behind the Sharifs, the country’s most powerful political family.
The Supreme Court on Friday disqualified 67-year-old Sharif for dishonesty and ruled that corruption cases be filed against him and his children over the Panama Papers scandal, forcing the embattled leader out of office.
The court’s ruling abruptly ended Sharif’s third tenure as prime minister and forced the party’s top leadership to find his successor.
Sharif first proposed the two names for party’s formal approval. “The parliamentary board approved the nomination by Sharif as mark of trust in him,” a party leader told a news agency.
But Shehbaz, the 65-year-old chief minister of Punjab, cannot immediately replace his brother as he is not an MP.
Abbasi, the 58-year-old loyalist of Sharif, is expected to serve for 45 days and will resign to let Shehbaz succeed as permanent premier, party sources said.