Abbasi named interim PM in Pakistan as Sharif hits out as 'baseless' allegation

Pakistan's ruling party has named senior politician Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as successor to the deposed prime minister, a day after the Supreme Court removed Nawaz Sharif from office for concealing assets.

Mr Sharif proposed Mr Abbasi as interim prime minister at the meeting of the Pakistan Muslim League party in Islamabad.

His request was endorsed by politicians from his party.

Because Mr Sharif's party enjoys a comfortable majority in the parliament, his longtime loyalist Mr Abbasi is expected to easily win the required vote when the National Assembly meets next week.

In a televised speech on Saturday, Mr Sharif said that his younger brother, Shahbaz, who is currently chief minister in Punjab province, would contest the election to the National Assembly in the seat which fell vacant with his removal.

Nawaz Sharif
Nawaz Sharif

In an emotional appeal, Mr Sharif sought support for Shahbaz as a future full-time premier.

Mr Sharif said he tried his best to put Pakistan on the path of progress but was unfairly penalised with his disqualification.

"I was not expecting what happened to me yesterday," he said.

Mr Sharif said he was removed by the Supreme Court on "baseless allegations".

He said the opposition had campaigned against him in recent years, accusing him and his family of indulging in alleged corruption.

"My hands are clean and none of my family members misused government funds," he said.

It was his first public response to Friday's court ruling.

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