No one could force me out of office: Pak PM Gilani

Yousuf Raza Gilani
Islamabad, May 9: Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that no one can force him out of office through unconstitutional means. Recently he was convicted for contempt by the country's Supreme Court.

"I have no yearning to stick to power but I will take it to the finality and exhaust all avenues," he told journalists who accompanied him on an official visit to Britain. He was speaking yesterday after Pakistan's apex court issued its detailed order on the premier's conviction last month.

Asked about his refusal to implement the court's orders for reopening graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari and his subsequent conviction, Gilani said that the Constitution explicitly spelt out the ways to remove a Prime Minister and that no one could force him out of office through unconstitutional means.

Gilani asserted that he had the right to appeal after the announcement of the apex court's detailed judgement. The matter of his disqualification will go to the Speaker of the National Assembly and finally to the Chief Election Commissioner, he explained.

He claimed that all his decisions were in line with the Constitution and that he believed under Article 248(1), he enjoyed complete immunity and had only done what he thought was the right thing.

The apex court convicted Gilani and gave him a symbolic sentence of less than a minute on April 26. As per the court's detailed order issued yesterday, Gilani faces the possibility of being disqualified as a parliamentarian for five years in view of his conviction.

Gilani has rejected the opposition's demands for his resignation and said only the Speaker of the National Assembly can decide on his disqualification.


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