Court Disqualifies Pakistan PM

Yousuf Raza Gilani refused to step down after April contempt conviction
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2012 6:53 AM CDT
Court Disqualifies Pakistan PM
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, shakes hands with Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani at his house in Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday, May 22, 2012.   (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

Add Pakistan to the list of countries thrown into fresh turmoil this morning: The country's Supreme Court today ruled that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was "disqualified" from office as a result of his April contempt conviction. Gilani had refused to reopen a corruption case against his boss, President Asif Ali Zardari, and he ignored calls to resign after that conviction. The AP reports that today's declaration came in response to petitions filed against Gilani for not giving up office.

Reuters reports that Gilani's lawyer is arguing that only parliament has the power to disqualify the PM. It has snippets of the court's announcement: "Since no appeal was filed [against the April 26 conviction] ... Gilani stands disqualified as a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora [parliament]. He has also ceased to be the prime minister of Pakistan ... the office of the prime minister stands vacant." (Read more Pakistan stories.)

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