Pakistan parliament elects new leader | News | DW | 22.06.2012
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Pakistan parliament elects new leader

Pakistan's parliament has elected former water and power minister Raja Pervez Ashraf as the country's new prime minister.

Ashraf defeated the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party candidate Sardar Mehtab Abbasi, garnering 342 parliamentary votes. He needed just 172 votes to win.

Ashraf replaces Yusuf Raza Gilani, who was disqualified by the country's Supreme Court earlier this week for refusing to re-open a corruption case against Pakistan's president Asif Ali Zardari. He was charged with contempt of court for failing to act.

The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) had nominated textiles minister, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, for the position. Within hours of the announcement of his intention to run, an arrest warrant was issued by the judiciary for his apprehension on charges connected with the illegal trade of controlled substances.

Analysts suggest the arrest warrant was engineered by the military to stop Shahabuddin from running.

jlw/tj (dpa, Reuters, AP)