Shahbaz Sharif, the brother of ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, speaks at a press conference in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday Dec. 1, 2007.
Shahbaz Sharif, the brother of ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, speaks at a press conference in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday Dec. 1, 2007.

Pakistan's ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif has chosen his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif, who was the chief minister of the Punjab province, to replace him as the country's chief executive.

Federal Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will be appointed as the interim prime minister until Shahbaz resigns from his regional post and contests a National Assembly seat to become eligible to take over.

"I support Shahbaz Sharif after me but he will take time to contest elections so for the time being I nominate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi," Nawaz Sharif said in a televised speech to his party. He also said he was glad that he had not been disqualified over being found guilty of corruption charges.

​Shahbaz Sharif, 65, was serving as the chief minister of Punjab province, that is home to more than half of Pakistan's 190 million people, for the third time.

Nawaz Sharif's resignation on Friday has plunged the nation into political turmoil after several years of relative stability. Sharif stepped down after he was disqualified by the Supreme Court over undeclared assets.

The court has also ordered a criminal investigation into Nawaz Sharif, 67, and his family.

The ruling PML-N party has a strong majority in parliament so should have no problem appointing its choice as the new prime minister.

Demonstrations in support of Sharif

Hundreds of supporters of deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have rallied in the capital against his disqualification by the country's highest court.

The demonstrators Saturday marched on a key road in Islamabad and chanted slogans in favour of Nawaz Sharif before peacefully dispersing.

The rally came a day after Pakistan's Supreme Court removed Sharif from office after finding that he and his family concealed their assets.

Sharif's supporters have held similar small rallies in the eastern city of Lahore from where he won the 2013 parliamentary elections.

The rally also came after opposition leader Imran Khan asked his supporters to reach Islamabad on Sunday to celebrate Nawaz Sharif removal. Khan had led dozens of protest rallies in recent years to pressure the elder Sharif to resign over corruption allegations.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies