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Pakistan president nominates Textiles Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin for PM

The main opposition to his candidature has come from the disqualified PM Yousuf Raza Gilani.

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Pakistan's Textiles Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin is a member of the National Assembly and leader of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in his native southern Punjab. (Aamir Quereshi/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari has named the country's Textiles Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin as candidate to become prime minister.

BBC explains that the announcement comes just one day after the Supreme Court disqualified Yousuf Raza Gilani from holding office because of a contempt conviction.

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Mr Shahabuddin is a member of the National Assembly and leader of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in his native southern Punjab, the news service explains, adding that Zardari announced his nomination after speaking with representatives from the PPP.

The President has summoned parliament to meet on Friday to elect the new prime minister, Associated Press reports.  The same article speculates that "in moving quickly to install a new premier the government may reduce fears of major upheaval."

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The Hindu says that Shahabuddin had emerged as a front runner from the moment the Supreme Court gave its verdict in Gilani. It says the main opposition to his  candidature has come from Gilani who said he did not want another PPP leader from South Punjab in the role.  Another issue, the newspaper says, is that Shahabuddin has been named in a corruption scandal, but it does not give any further details.

Another federal minister and senior PPP leader, Raja Pervez Ashraf, will be the alternative, or "covering", candidate, says The Express Tribune.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/pakistan/120620/pakistan-president-nominates-textiles-minister-ma