Yousuf Raza Gilani 'disqualified' as prime minister by Pak SC
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Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was today disqualified as an MP by the Supreme Court two months after he was convicted for contempt, a staggering verdict that was surprisingly accepted by the ruling PPP which swiftly moved to select a new premier.
Capping nearly 30 months of bitter feud between the judiciary and the government, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry held that Gilani, 60, "ceased" to be the Prime Minister from April 26 this year.
Gilani was then convicted and sentenced for not obeying court orders to reopen graft charges in Switzerland against President Asif Ali Zardari.
Contrary to expectations that the PPP will back him to the hilt, the ruling party said it would abide by the verdict and set in motion the process of selecting Gilani's successor.
Federal ministers Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Makhdoom Shahabuddin and Khursheed Shah are among those being considered for the post of premier, the sources added.
A session of the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament is likely to be convened tomorrow for the formal election of the new premier.
Today's verdict came in response to several petitions that had challenged National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza's decision not to disqualify Gilani following his conviction.
"Since no appeal was filed against this (April 26) judgment, the conviction has attained finality. Therefore, Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani has become disqualified from being a Member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) in terms of Article 63(1)(g) of the Constitution on and from the date and time of pronouncement of the judgment of this Court dated 26.04.2012 with all consequences," the Court said.
It added, "He (Gilani) has also ceased to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan with effect from the said date and the office of the Prime Minister shall be deemed to be vacant accordingly".
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