(AP) – PRIME MINISTER YOUSUF RAZA GILANI: The man at the center of the controversy is Pakistan’s longest-serving prime minister. He became prime minister in 2008 elections following the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. He was imprisoned for six years under the rule of Gen. Pervez Musharraf. The Supreme Court in April convicted Gilani of failing to open a corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari. The Tuesday court decision to disqualify Gilani possibly spells the end of his premiership.
CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT IFTIKHAR CHAUDHRY: The chief justice was appointed in 2005 but suspended by Musharraf in 2007. The outcry from his fellow lawyers and supporters was a reason behind Musharraf eventually stepping aside in favor of a civilian-led government. Chaudhry has been the driving force behind the court pushing Gilani to open a corruption case against the president. But Chaudhry has come under criticism since allegations surfaced that his son accepted lavish gifts and trips from a Pakistani tycoon who hoped to influence the court.
PRESIDENT ASIF ALI ZARDARI: The president rode to power on a wave of sympathy following the 2007 assassination of his wife, Bhutto, but has long been plagued by corruption accusations. Zardari was jailed for eight years on corruption charges following the end of his wife’s second administration. The Supreme Court has been pushing the prime minister to ask Switzerland to reopen the corruption case against Zardari.