Pakistan Supreme Court disqualifies Gilani
Pakistan top court disqualified Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani from office on Tuesday, as President Asif Ali Zardari cancelled a visit to Russia in a bid to contain the crisis.
The Supreme Court convicted Gilani of contempt on April 26 for refusing to ask Switzerland to reopen multi-million-dollar graft cases against Zardari, the culmination of a showdown between the judiciary and the government.
"Yousuf Raza Gilani has become disqualified from being member of the parliament," said the order read by chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
"He has also ceased to be the prime minister of Pakistan with effect from the same date (April 26)," it said.
"The Election Commission of Pakistan is required to issue notification of disqualification... the president of Pakistan is required to take necessary steps under the constitution to ensure continuation of the democratic process."
Zardari was due to attend the June 20-22 St Petersburg International Economic Forum but would now hold talks with coalition partners "to consider the situation (at home) and formulate a course of action," AFP quoted his spokesman Farhatullah Babar as saying.
The president held emergency talks with leaders in his main ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and summoned coalition parties to meet later Tuesday to decide how to respond, officials said.