Islamabad: Shehbaz Sharif likely to the next Prime Minister of Pakistan amid speculation about who the country’s next prime minister will be after the Supreme Court (SC), in a landmark ruling on the Panama Papers case, disqualified Nawaz Sharif from holding public office on Friday.
The ruling came after a probe into Sharif’s family’s wealth following the 2015 Panama Papers linked Sharif’s children to offshore companies. Sharif has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the case.
As head of the ruling PML-N, Nawaz will be able to nominate a successor ─ a candidate who will be put to a vote in the National Assembly — a rubber stamp affair as the party holds a strong majority in the house.
Nawaz Sharif, during a party meeting held at PM House on Saturday following the SC verdict, said he had received suggestions that his brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, be considered a contender for prime minister, well-placed PML-N sources present at the meeting told DawnNews.
“There was no resistance to Nawaz’s proposal, which was met with applause,” according to Newspaper based in Pakistan.
According a report in The News International, a Pakistani newspaper, and an online news agency, an interim prime minister will be brought in for 45 days to facilitate Shehbaz Sharif’s election as Member of the National Assembly from NA-120, Lahore, that has fallen vacant due to the verdict of the Supreme Court.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif will replace Nawaz Sharif as the prime minister of the country and Hamza Sharif will replace his father as Punjab chief minister, the reports added.
National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and former Federal Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi are being considered to become interim premier and final decision would be taken in the Parliamentary Party’s meeting today, the reports futher said.