Pakistan Announces New Prime Minister Nominee

Posted June 22nd, 2012 at 4:25 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistan's ruling party has nominated former water and power minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to replace ousted prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Ashraf has been dogged by allegations of corruption from his tenure in the water and power post, but he is expected to be approved as the Pakistan People's Party holds a majority in parliament together with its coalition partners. Parliament meets Friday to elect the new prime minister.

The Pakistan People's Party had nominated the textiles minister, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, for the prime minister's post. A Pakistani judge, however, issued an arrest warrant Thursday for Shahabuddin in connection with a scandal involving illegal imports of the drug ephedrine during his time as health minister.

Pakistan's new prime minister stands to inherit a tenuous position between President Asif Ali Zardari and the country's Supreme Court, which declared Mr. Gilani ineligible for office Tuesday because of a prior conviction. The court found him guilty of contempt April 26 after he refused its order to ask Swiss authorities to investigate claims of corruption against President Zardari.

The new prime minister will likely face the same pressure to investigate the president.