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Pakistan dynastic tradition continues as Sharif names brother as possible successor

Sharif gave a defiant speech on Saturday [AFP]

Date of publication: 29 July, 2017

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Deposed Pakistan leader Nawaz Sharif has named his brother Shahbaz as his successor, continuing the country's tradition of dynastic politics.

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has named his younger brother Shahbaz has a possible replacement as leader, during a speech on Saturday.

Sharif defiantly spoke to supporters on Saturday after Pakistan's Supreme Court ruled on Friday he would not be fit for office, due to an investigation into alleged corruption charges against his family.

Shabaz is the chief minister of Punjab province and could see power passed on to Sharif's brother, despite the corruption charges against his family. 

"I support Shahbaz Sharif after me but he will take time to contest elections so for the time being I nominate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi," Sharif said in a televised speech.

He nominated former Oil Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as an interim prime minister.

Sharif was expelled from his post as leader for a third time this week, a record for the country which has never had a prime minster fulfil a five-year term.

Shabaz Sharif has not been embroiled in the corruption charges, which has engulfed Nawaz's children following the leak of Panama Papers linking them to a dodgy real estate deal.

Shabaz has only served as a provincial political leader and will need to be elected to the National Assembly before becoming the new prime minister.

Read also: Pakistan stumbles on as another leader is felled.

Analysts see this as a continuation of dynastic politics of Pakistan and will grant Nawaz power behind the scenes. 

"The nomination of Shahbaz Sharif as the next prime minister won't bring political stability, it will strengthen the culture of dynastic politics," political analyst Abid Hassan told AFP.

"How can they not find one single individual in the whole party for the post of prime minister," he said.

New elections would be held in Nawaz Sharif's former constituency which is based in the PML-N powerbase of the Punjab process which could take up to 45 days. 

Shahbaz Sharif has controlled Punjab for much of the last decade and has seen massive development on Pakistan's most populous province, which is a stronghold of the Sharif led PML-N.

Abbasi - who will fill the role as premier for the time being -launched Pakistan's most successful private airline, Air Blue.

He is seen as a Sharif loyalist and has been elected to the National Assembly six times since 1988.

Political commentators have not ruled out a return for Nawaz Sharif at some point and during his televised speech on Saturday warned the country was "descending into chaos".

"I have no regrets... I will continue to fight for my vision of Pakistan," he said.

Agencies contributed to this story.

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