News Karnataka
Thursday, April 25 2024

Shehbaz Sharif elected Pakistan PM for second term after controversial vote

Shehbaz Sharif
Photo Credit : News Karnataka

 Islamabad: Shehbaz Sharif  has been chosen as Pakistan’s Prime Minister for the second time by the country’s legislators, marking a significant development after a contentious election held last month.

The election, which took place on February 8, was shrouded in controversy due to allegations of widespread rigging and delayed results. In a session held on Sunday, the National Assembly convened to elect the new premier.

Shehbaz secured 201 votes, defeating his rival Omar Ayub Khan, who garnered 92 votes and is supported by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), a political faction formed by legislators from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party after PTI was disqualified from contesting due to alleged violations of election laws.

Currently serving as the President of PMLN, Shehbaz enjoyed the support of nearly 200 legislators out of the 336-member house. The winning candidate needed a minimum of 169 votes.

Aged 72, Sharif previously held the position of prime minister until August of the previous year, when the National Assembly was dissolved to pave the way for a caretaker government responsible for overseeing the national elections. He is the younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, a three-time Prime Minister and the founder of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) party, which has formed a coalition government with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

The assembly session commenced with a delay of over an hour as PTI-backed SIC members protested in support of their incarcerated leader, former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The newly-elected members of the National Assembly took their oaths on Thursday, three weeks after the election.

Despite being compelled to nominate independent candidates following the loss of their election symbol, PTI emerged as the largest group with 93 seats.

The party contends that its mandate was stolen and has initiated street demonstrations against the alleged electoral fraud.

PTI leader Khan, who was ousted through a parliamentary vote of no confidence in 2022, has been in custody since August of the previous year following convictions on multiple charges, including disclosing state secrets, corruption, and involvement in an “unlawful” marriage.

Pakistan, with a population of 241 million, grapples with political instability amid a deteriorating economy and worsening security conditions.

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