PPP names Raja Pervez Ashraf as PM

Pakistan's ruling party on Friday nominated former water and power minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to replace the ousted prime minister, as political intrigue gripped the country.

The Pakistan People's Party had nominated the textiles minister to replace Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court this week.

But an anti-narcotics court issued an arrest warrant for the textiles minister, undermining his bid, in a move analysts said may hokave been orchestrated by the powerful military.

Parliament meets on Friday to elect a new prime minister.

Pakistanis have been watching their country's three power centers - the military, civilian leadership and Supreme Court - flex their muscles, distracted from problems such as a troubled economy, poverty and a crisis in ties with the United States.

Ashraf is likely to deepen their frustrations with what has been described as a failed state.

As water and power minister, he was seen by most Pakistanis as one of many senior officials who had failed to ease a crippling energy crisis, which triggered violent protests.

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