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Sharif takes office as Pakistan's prime minister

February 17, 1997
Web posted at: 4:33 p.m. EDT (1633 GMT)

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Nawaz Sharif was sworn in Monday as Pakistan's new prime minister, replacing the caretaker government installed after President Farooq Leghari fired Benazir Bhutto's government on November 5.

Earlier Monday, Sharif was earlier elected prime minister by a resounding majority in the National Assembly (lower house), reflecting the triumph of his Pakistan Muslim League in the February 3 general election.

Sharif took a record 177 votes against a paltry 16 for Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party. Bhutto said she will cooperate with Sharif to keep parliament working smoothly. Leghari fired Bhutto, a former political ally, and dissolved the assembly on disputed charges of corruption and misrule.

Sharif, a 47-year-old industrialist-turned-politician, says his first priority is to revive Pakistan's ailing economy.

Correspondent Anita Pratap contributed to this report.


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