President Ghulam Ishaq Khan will name Pakistan's new prime minister on Thursday, bringing the date forward after protests from the leading contender, Benazir Bhutto.

The government had earlier said the prime minister would be named only after members of a newly elected national assembly were sworn in on December 5.Bhutto had complained that her political opponents in the Islamic Democratic Alliance (IDA) were using the delay to try to coerce independents into a coalition to keep her out of power.