Pakistan bars ex-premier Nawaz Sharif from politics for life | News | DW | 13.04.2018

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Pakistan bars ex-premier Nawaz Sharif from politics for life

Pakistan's Supreme Court has disqualified deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from ever holding office, a court official says. Sharif was removed from power last year amid corruption allegations.

Pakistan's Supreme Court on Friday clarified a 2017 disqualification decision, ruling that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif cannot participate in politics for the rest of his life.

The decision could have major implications for parliamentary elections later this year, with Sharif still having a grip on the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party.

Read more:  Opinion: Pakistan needs ex-PM Sharif's political role now more than ever  

Contentious ouster

  • Sharif was dismissed last July on corruption charges that stemmed from the Panama Papers.
  • Friday's ruling was on a petition asking the Supreme Court if Sharif could ever re-enter politics.
  • Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb of the PML-N party has called the ruling a "joke."
  • Nawaz Sharif's brother Shabaz formally took charge of the PML-N last month

Read more: Why ousted Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif turned against the powerful military 

Potential military control: Some analysts say the disappearance of Sharif, who remains popular among the Pakistani electorate, from the political scene will give the military more behind-the-scenes influence. The country has been under military rule for half of its history.

Powerful family: Sharif's opponents have accused the ex-prime minister and his family of laundering money from Pakistan and using it to buy properties in London. The Sharif family says it received properties in London as a settlement for an investment they had with Qatar's royals in the 1980s. The Sharifs and their supporters have suggested that Nawaz Sharif is the victim of a conspiracy led by the military establishment.

Upcoming elections:  Elections scheduled for August will pit the PML-N against its main rival, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, led by former cricket star Imran Khan. Despite a number of court rulings against the PML-N, a recent series of by-election wins shows that it remains a force to be reckoned with.

Read more: Mashaal Radio shutdown: Is Pakistan suppressing foreign media?

tj/rt (dpa, Reuters)

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