Saturday, 13 Apr, 2024


Shehbaz Sharif elected Pakistan PM for second term

International Desk |
Update: 2024-03-03 14:58:47
Shehbaz Sharif elected Pakistan PM for second term [Photo Taken: Shehbaz Sharif]

Pakistani legislators have elected Shehbaz Sharif as the country’s prime minister for the second time following a controversial election last month.

The South Asian country voted on February 8 in an election marred by allegations of large-scale rigging and delayed results. On Sunday, the National Assembly, as the lower house of parliament is called, met to elect the premier.

Shehbaz secured 201 votes, prevailing over rival Omar Ayub Khan, who won 92 votes, and is backed by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), the political group legislators belonging to former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party joined after the PTI was barred from contesting for allegedly violating election laws.

Shehbaz, currently the PMLN president, had the backing of nearly 200 legislators in the 336-member house. The winner needed at least 169 votes.

Sharif, 72, served as prime minister until August last year when the National Assembly was dissolved to make way for a caretaker government, tasked with holding the national elections. He is the younger brother of three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who founded the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) party, which is in alliance with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to form the government.

The assembly session started with a delay of more than an hour, as the legislators belonging to PTI-backed SIC raised slogans in the hall in favour of their incarcerated leader, former prime minister Imran Khan.

The newly-elected National Assembly members took oath on Thursday, three weeks after the vote.

The PTI, which was forced to field its candidates as independents after losing its election symbol, emerged as the largest group with 93 seats.

The party alleges its mandate was “stolen” and has kicked off street protests against the alleged rigging.

PTI leader Khan, who was removed through a parliamentary vote of no confidence in 2022, has been in jail since August last year following multiple convictions, including for revealing state secrets, corruption, and an “unlawful” wedding.

Pakistan, a country of 241 million people, is faced with political instability as it battles a declining economy and a rapidly deteriorating security situation.

Source Al Jazeera

BDST: 1458 HRS, MAR 03, 2024

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