Ashraf elected Prime Minister


Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was elected as the new prime minister of Pakistan by the National Assembly yesterday. The ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and its allies saw the vote through by 211 for and 89 against.

His election comes after Yousuf Raza Gilani was stripped of the office by the Supreme Court earlier this week. The favourite to replace Gilani, textile minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin was then arrested soon after his selection by the PPP.

The Supreme Court has been putting pressure on the government for months to get the authorities in Switzerland to reopen a case of corruption against President Asif Zardari. Gilani had failed to comply and in April was convicted of contempt of court.

It is likely that the new prime minister will be pressured in the same way in what many commentators say is a politically motivated campaign by the judges.

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was elected to parliament in 2002 after numerous failed attempts. In 2008 he was made Minister for Water and Power but was forced to resign in February 2011 over corruption charges. In early 2012 he was appointed Minister for Information Technology.

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