New PM Unlikely to End Pakistan’s Executive-Judiciary Battle

New PM Unlikely to End Pakistan’s Executive-Judiciary Battle

Pakistan’s parliament elected Raja Pervez Ashraf prime minister today, after the Supreme Court disqualified and unseated former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. The high court justices confirmed Gilani’s April conviction for contempt of court over his refusal to request that Switzerland reopen a corruption investigation against Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, as the court had ordered him to do in 2009.

Shahab Usto, a lawyer and academic based in Karachi, Pakistan, told Trend Lines that the developments are part of a feud between the country’s executive and judiciary branches that will only worsen in the run-up to general elections, which Zardari said would take place early next year.

“Pakistan has traditionally been a state afflicted with intra-institutional tussles, with the judiciary usually siding with the conservative and pro-military forces,” said Usto.

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