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Crisis Talks On New Pakistani Prime Minister Enter Second Day

Pakistan's disqualified Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
Pakistan's disqualified Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
Pakistan's president has summoned the country's parliament to meet on June 22 to elect a new premier, in the wake of the Supreme Court's disqualification of incumbent Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The announcement was made on June 20 after negotiations involving the ruling Pakistan People's Party, whose coalition holds a parliament majority.

There was no immediate clear indication who will be nominated to head the government.

Gilani was dismissed on June 20 after being convicted in April on a contempt of court charge for refusing to ask Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, who heads the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), which Gilani is also a member of.

The disqualification of Gilani was the culmination of a showdown between Pakistan's judiciary and Zardari's government.

Zardari was holding crisis talks with PPP leaders on June 20, and officials said he hoped to nominate a new prime minister later in the day.

The political crisis comes at a time when Pakistan is facing violence from a widespread Islamist militancy, an economic crisis, and severe energy shortages.

Based on reporting by dpa and AFP