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Pakistan replaces ousted PM Sharif

Lawmakers in Pakistan have elected Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as prime minister, replacing Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted last week over corruption allegations.

The ruling party wants the former oil minister to hold the role temporarily until Mr Sharif’s brother, Shahbaz Sharif, can take over.

Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab province’s chief minister, must win a parliamentary by-election to be eligible for PM.

Mr Abbasi was elected with 221 votes from the 342-member National Assembly.

He thanked Nawaz Sharif after the vote, saying “the process of democracy is back on track” and rejecting claims he would only serve as a placeholder for Shahbaz Sharif.

“They say, ‘Oh, he’s only here for 45 days.’ I say, I may be here for 45 days or 45 hours, but I’m not here to keep the seat warm,” he said.

“I intend to work and get some important things done if the cabinet supports me in this.”

Opposition groups had also nominated candidates but the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party holds a majority and was easily able to get their candidate through.

Lawmakers from the party chanted the name of Nawaz Sharif after the vote.

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