Following the announcement that“Yousuf Raza Gilani is disqualified from membership of parliament from April 26, the date of his conviction. He has also ceased to be the prime minister of Pakistan” by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry today at the country's Supreme Court, Pakistanis have expressed mixed reactions.
The decision comes two months after the former PM was convicted of contempt of court. In April, the Supreme Court convicted Mr Gilani of failing to pursue corruption charges against President Asif Ali Zardari. He had argued the president has constitutional immunity from prosecution.
Many people have said that his removal is a positive step for Pakistan, and have spoken out against alleged corruption by the PM:
Other people have been more sceptical of the decision, questioning the motives behind it, and even the mandate that the Supreme Court has for such an action, saying that only Parliament can dismiss a PM. Others see little hope of progress, and are waiting for the next 'corrupt political actor' to replace Gilani:
The BBC have reported that: 'The legal case against Mr Gilani is part of a stand-off between Pakistan's civilian government and the judiciary, which many believe is being backed by the military' and that 'The pursuit of the contempt case by Supreme Court judges was seen by many as an attempt at meddling in the country's politics.'
Express News reports that Gilani can appeal against the verdict within 30 days. It is unclear whether he intends to do so having not appealed the April conviction.
The removal of Gilani does not necessarily suggest that a fall of government is imminent, although severe upheaval is expected. The senior leaders of the governing Pakistan People's Party are reportedly in an emergency session. The party have a large enough majority in Parliament to elect a successor.