A poster with an image of Yousaf Raza Gilani with Pakistan People's Party leaders
The ruling Pakistan People’s Party was expected to announce a successor later today to replace former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was disqualified from holding office yesterday by the Supreme Court.
The court disqualified Gilani two months after finding him guilty for contempt of court after the former premier refused to press corruption charges against President Asif Ali Zardari.
The conviction resulted in a token prison term that lasted only 32 seconds.
Many saw yesterday’s events as yet another installment of the battle taking place between the country’s top institutions.
Church leaders hailed the court’s decision, yet warned that democracy itself is under threat.
“It is a good decision; he should have resigned before. The whole country is suffering. The economy has crashed, the energy situation is worse and targeted killings continue on a daily basis,” said Father Samson Shukardin, Hyderabad diocese's vicar general.
“We respect the decision irrespective of our personal views,” said Father Emmanuel Yousaf Mani, national director of the Catholic bishops’ National Commission for Justice and Peace.
“The government should select a new premier quickly and all parties should unite for the survival of democracy, which we achieved after a long struggle. Failure to do so will cause anarchy,” he said.
“We are in a state of turmoil and the poor are desperately waiting for relief.”
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Court ‘sentences’ Gilani for contempt