Pakistan's parliament has elected former minister Raja Pervez Ashraf as the new prime minister after the incumbent was disqualified by the Supreme Court.
Yusuf Raza Gilani was ruled ineligible earlier this week for refusing to reopen corruption cases against the president, plunging the country into a new political crisis.
But the election of Mr Ashraf was unlikely to calm the tensions in the country, and many predicted he would face the same fate as his predecessor.
In his first speech to parliament shortly after the announcement, Mr Ashraf called on Pakistani Taliban militants to lay down their arms.
"The irresponsible behaviour of religious extremist has ruined Islam and Pakistan. I, as prime minister of Pakistan, appealed them to lay down arms and join the mainstream of life," he said.
Mr Ashraf said his government would continue dialogue for peace with India and all other neighbouring countries including Iran and Afghanistan.
He also promised to develop "cordial relations" with the United States, which have come under severe strain over the past year following a US raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and a botched US air strike that left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead.
"We will develop cordial relations with United States and international community on the basis of equal rights and dignity," he said.
President Asif Ali Zardari will now hope that Mr Ashraf can form a cabinet able to see through the government's five-year term in office, due to expire in February 2013, without the need for early elections.
But Mr Ashraf is a controversial choice. Currently being investigated over a corruption case from his tenure as water and power minister, he has also been blamed for much of the government's inability to resolve a disastrous energy crisis.
The Pakistan People's Party had previously nominated textiles minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin to replace Mr Gilani.
But an anti-narcotics court issued an arrest warrant for him, undermining his bid, in a move analysts said may have been orchestrated by the military.
Whoever holds the office, now and after the election, is likely to come under similar pressure from Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, who has gained notoriety by taking on Pakistan's top politicians.
At stake is stability in Pakistan, a regional power seen as critical to efforts to end the Taliban insurgency in neighbouring Afghanistan.