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Following the move, the PML-N had agreed upon Abbasi, the former petroleum minister, as its candidate for prime minister for the interim period until a permanent replacement could be elected, Dawn News reported. However, [it is up to] Nawaz Sharif to decide whether Hamza will be the right choice for the post or not.

A die-hard supporter of Sharif, he was elected prime minister by Pakistan's National Assembly and put up a strong defence of the ousted leader, saying that he may have been disqualified by the Supreme Court but remains the "people's premier".

Shahbaz Sharif is the chief minister of Punjab.

Naveed Qamar of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) got 47 votes, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, an Awami Muslim League leader who was Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's candidate, got 33 votes, while Jamaat-e-Islami's Sahibzada Tariqullah managed just four votes.

After the voting and counting process, numerous PML-N National Assembly members entered the House with posters of Sharif. Later, he moved to Saudi Arabia to join the oil and gas industry.

Regardless of who is prime minister, however, Nawaz's influence will likely remain strong on the government's policies.

Six candidates on Monday filed their nomination papers for the interim Prime Minister's election to be held on Tuesday, Pakistan's parliamentary officials said.

Abbasi, who was imprisoned after the coup, spent two years in jail.

In 2003, he setup a private airline Air Blue, the country's most successful private airline and challenger to PIA.

Christians in Pakistan fear there could be an increase in persecution targeting their community after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigned from his post on July 28, according to the head of a Christian charity.

Abbasi himself served as petroleum minister in Nawaz's previous cabinet, which stepped down after he was removed. Sharif claimed he never received any of that money.

His allies believe the verdict smacks of judicial overreach, while others privately say elements of the military had a hand in the process.

Khan himself also faces graft allegations in court linked to the non-disclosure of assets and offshore companies - similar charges that brought down Sharif. But with its most powerful leader's ousted, there could be some serious political churning in the country for the next year's general elections.


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