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Pakistan parliament to elect new prime minister on Friday

ISLAMABAD--Pakistan's president summoned parliament to meet on Friday to elect a new prime minister, with the outgoing textile minister emerging as the likely candidate for the job.

Yousuf Raza Gilani was dismissed Tuesday along with his Cabinet by the Supreme Court for failing to investigate his ally President Asif Ali Zardari for corruption, adding to political instability in a country already saddled with massive economic and security problems.

But in moving quickly to install a new premier — and not defying the court order as some had predicted — the government may reduce fears of major upheaval, at least in the short term.

In a statement Wednesday, the presidency said the national assembly would be convened on Friday afternoon.

A government official confirmed that the purpose of the meeting was to elect a new premier.

Zardari's Pakistan People's Party has the largest number of seats in parliament and is currently in government with coalition partners, which must also support his choice for prime minister to ensure he gets elected. Zardari has been meeting those partners to discuss a candidate

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