Gillani new Pakistan PM, to be sworn in Tuesday

March 24th, 2008 - 9:02 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto
Islamabad, March 24 (DPA) Pakistan’s lower house of parliament Monday elected Yousuf Raza Gillani the country’s new prime minister. A member of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), he is scheduled to be sworn in Tuesday.

A former National Assembly speaker, Gillani got the nod for the post from Bhutto’s widower and party Co-Chairman Asif Ari Zardari Saturday as the PPP candidate for prime minister after weeks of inter-party debate.

Gillani won 264 votes to the 42 for opposition candidate Chaudhry Pervaiz of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid party.

The parliament broke into riotous celebration with the announcement of Gillani’s election that lasted nearly 15 minutes.

Members of parliament and spectators chanted “long Live Bhutto” as Gillani approached PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Bhutto’s 19-year-old son, who was sitting in the spectators area and shook his hand.

Bilawal was appointed titular chairman after his mother’s assassination in December, but his father Zardari runs the party’s day-to-day affairs.

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