Pakistan PM May Face Contempt of Court

Conviction could end Gilani's tenure
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 16, 2012 12:17 PM CST
In this Monday, Dec. 5, 2011 photo, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani gestures during an interview.   (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

(Newser) – Pakistan's Supreme Court is threatening the country's prime minister with contempt of court, ordering Yousuf Raza Gilani to attend a hearing on the matter after officials wouldn't reopen thousands of government corruption cases, CNN reports. "Ultimately it's the prime minister who is responsible for carrying out the court's order, and he has not. I think the court has lost its patience," says an analyst in Islamabad. Were Gilani convicted of contempt, he could lose his seat in Parliament—and thus his job as PM, the analyst notes.

The government has "accepted all of the court's decisions," and Gilani will head to court Thursday, says a rep. Meanwhile, upheaval continues. Following fears of a coup, legislators are poised to vote today on a resolution backing the country's democratic system. A court-appointed panel continues to investigate an anonymous memo sent to the US seeking help controlling the military; the document has caused friction between government and military leaders. But despite anger over Gilani's criticism of military officials, "the prime minister is not in jeopardy," says a party rep. Click for more on the unraveling situation. (Read more Pakistan stories.)

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