June 23 - Former water and power minister elected to replace disqualified Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. Paul Chapman reports.
PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Raja Pervez Ashraf is Pakistan's new prime minister. The former water and energy minister's been elected by parliament after the incumbent, Yusuf Raza Gilani, was disqualified by the Supreme Court. SOUNDBITE: RAJA PERVEZ ASHRAF, NEWLY-ELECTED PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER, SAYING (English): "As a responsible nation Pakistan will continue to play its role as an enabler and facilitator of peace and stability in the region and the world." Gilani was ruled ineligible after he refused to re-open corruption cases against the president. Pakistan's military, civilian leadership and the Supreme Court have been manoeuvring to gain the political edge. President Asif Ali Zardari says Gilani's disqualification is a blow to democracy. SOUNDBITE: PAKISTANI PRESIDENT ASIF ALI ZARDARI SAYING (English): "The detractors of democracy have long been hounding the former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. They thought that the coalition will not be able to agree to a new leader of the house. They hoped that it will give them a chance to send the house packing and create political uncertainty." The election of Raja Pervez Ashraf as prime minister may not go down well with ordinary Pakistanis. He's seen by many as a minister who failed to ease the nation's crippling energy crisis which has, at times, led to violent protests. Paul Chapman, Reuters