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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Pakistan's ousted Sharif names his brother as his successor

Shahbaz Sharif is the chief minister of Punjab province and must be elected to the national assembly before becoming the new prime minister

Shahbaz Sharif, brother of former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif and the chief minister of Punjab province, is pictured here on January 30, 2008, addressing a press conference in Karachi. Rizwan Tabassum / AFP
Shahbaz Sharif, brother of former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif and the chief minister of Punjab province, is pictured here on January 30, 2008, addressing a press conference in Karachi. Rizwan Tabassum / AFP

Pakistan's ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif named his brother Shahbaz, the chief minister of Punjab province, as his successor and ex-oil minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as an interim premier in a defiant speech on Saturday.

"I support Shahbaz Sharif after me but he will take time to contest elections so for the time being I nominate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi," Mr Sharif said in a televised speech to his party.

The announcement came one day after Pakistan's supreme court ousted Sharif after an investigation into corruption allegations against him and his family, bringing to an unceremonious end his historic third term in power.

The younger Sharif holds only a provincial seat, so must be elected to the national assembly before becoming the new prime minister.

Mr Abbasi is set to be rubber-stamped as place holder in a parliamentary vote, with Mr Sharif's ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz commanding a majority in the 342-seat house.

The opposition could also field a candidate for the premiership, though the nominee has little chance of getting sufficient votes.