Pakistan's National Assembly has elected former finance minister Shaukat Aziz as the new prime minister.

Mr. Aziz received 191 votes in the 342-seat assembly.

Opposition groups boycotted the vote after their candidate, Javed Hashmi, who is currently in jail for defaming the Pakistani army, was not allowed to attend the session.

Mr. Aziz will replace the caretaker head of government, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, who resigned this week to clear the way for the new prime minister.

Mr. Aziz became eligible to run for prime minister this month after winning election to the lower house of Parliament. Critics accuse President Pervez Musharraf of orchestrating his political rise.