[JURIST] The Pakistan government will challenge Monday's Lahore High Court ruling [JURIST report] blocking Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) [party website] leader and former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] from running in upcoming parliamentary elections, current Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Tuesday. The ruling, which bars Sharif from a June 26 by-election, was criticized by both the PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) [party website]. A PML-N spokesman rejected the court's decision [Daily Times report] that a prior criminal conviction rendered Sharif ineligible for office. The legal challenge to the ruling is expected to be filed Wednesday with the Pakistan Supreme Court [official website]. AFP has more. BBC News has additional coverage.
In 2000, Sharif was convicted for his involvement in an attempt to prevent a plane carrying then-army-chief and current President Pervez Musharraf [JURIST news archive] from landing in Pakistan during Musharraf's 1999 coup against Sharif's civilian government. Sharif has said that he will not personally challenge Monday's decision as he considers the Supreme Court as currently constituted to be illegitimate.