Caretaker Pakistan prime minister selected

Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, the head of Pakistan’s ruling party and a loyal ally of the nation’s military ruler, was elected caretaker prime minister in a rubber-stamp vote in Parliament on Tuesday.

Hussain is expected to stay in office only for a matter of weeks, until political maneuvering is completed that will allow respected Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz to assume the premiership.

There was little drama in the Parliament vote. Opposition lawmakers complain that the process has been manipulated behind the scenes by President General Pervez Musharraf, the nation’s ultimate powerbroker. They say it underlines the lack of real democracy in this country, five years after the general took power in a coup.

Hussain won with the support of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Q party and other smaller groups.
He was expected to be sworn in by Musharraf within 24 hours.—Sapa-AP

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