ISLAMABAD • Pakistan's President has called a special parliamentary session for tomorrow to hold a vote to install Mr Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as interim prime minister, with the ruling party vowing a smooth transfer of power after Mr Nawaz Sharif was ousted as premier.
Mr Mamnoon Hussain announced the move last Saturday after Mr Sharif put forward his brother Shahbaz as long-term successor and Mr Abbasi as interim leader.
Mr Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party has a strong majority in Parliament, and should have no problem installing Mr Abbasi.
The quick handover could ease political upheaval sparked by the Supreme Court's decision last Friday to disqualify Mr Sharif for not declaring a source of income. The court also ordered a criminal investigation into Mr Sharif and his family.
The turmoil and the premature end to Mr Sharif's third stint in power have raised questions about Pakistan's democracy - no premier has completed a full term in power since independence from the British in 1947.
Mr Sharif has lashed out against the court ruling and opponents who used the court to topple him, but has vowed that his party will continue to focus on economic development, touting a faster-growing economy as proof of his success. "Wheel of development is moving and may God keep it rolling and may it never stop," he told party members last Saturday night.
But his foes slammed PML-N's plans as dynastic and undemocratic, while opposition leader Imran Khan called them a form of "monarchy".
Mr Sharif said the plan is for Mr Abbasi, previously petroleum minister, to stay in power for under two months until Mr Shahbaz, who is chief minister of Punjab province, wins a by-election to the national assembly and becomes eligible to be prime minister.