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As Pakistan Election Nears, Caretaker Prime Minister Is Named

The biggest challenge for Mr. Mulk will be to ensure free and fair elections at a time of heightened tensions between leading politicians. Some have accused the military of denying the political party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif a level playing field.

The last general elections, in 2013, brought Mr. Sharif to power with an overwhelming majority. But he had to fight for legitimacy in the face of broad protests led by Imran Khan, an opposition politician.

Mr. Khan, a popular former cricket player, accused Mr. Sharif’s party of having rigged the elections. He staged a protest sit-in in Islamabad that lasted months.

As Pakistan Election Nears, Caretaker Prime Minister Is Named
As Pakistan Election Nears, Caretaker Prime Minister Is Named

Mr. Sharif was also forced to fend off charges of corruption that arose from revelations made in the so-called Panama Papers, which were files leaked from an offshore law firm. In July, the Supreme Court, in a controversial decision, removed him from office. Mr. Sharif, who vehemently denies any financial wrongdoing, is currently on trial on corruption charges.

The Supreme Court barred Mr. Sharif from holding public office for life, but he is hoping that if his party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, retains control in the summer elections, he can find a way back into power.

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