Pakistan could be well be plunged into political turmoil after a Supreme Court there disqualified the Prime Minister. Yusuf Raza Gilani was found guilty of contempt of court, the first ever serving Prime Minister in the country’s history to be convicted by a court.
Gilani has been deemed ineligible for office after he refused to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. Zardari's allegations date back to the 1990s: he and his late wife, former Premier Benazir Bhutto, are suspected of money laundering. Pakistan’s constitution says anyone convicted of defaming the judiciary cannot be an MP in the country.
The action is just short of a dismissal and while the decision is a big blow to the ruling Pakistan People's Party (the PPP), it is unlikely to lead to the fall of the unpopular government. The PPP and its coalition partners have the numbers in parliament to elect a new prime minister until the government's term ends early next year.