Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has been elected as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan. Voting in the National Assembly began at 3:30 PM local time to elect the new prime minister. The cricketer-turned-politician easily secured more than 172 votes needed in the 342-member National Assembly as the grand Opposition alliance fell apart. Imran Khan won a total of 176 votes. His primary opponent Shehbaz Sharif was able to secure only 96 votes on Friday.
Oath-taking ceremony for the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan to be held on Aug.18
Imran Khan will take oath as 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan on Saturday, August 18th. PTI spokesperson Faisal Javed told media that preparations for Khan’s oath-taking ceremony were already in full swing. The newly-elected Prime Minister of Pakistan will be wearing a black sherwani during the oath-taking ceremony, which will be held at the President House.
Faisal Javed said the August 18 ceremony would be kept simple. President Mamnoon Hussain will administer the oath to the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan. Prior to the voting in the National Assembly, all the 120 parliamentary committee members had rubber-stamped his candidacy for the top job.
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PTI’s nominee for the post of Speaker secured 176 votes while the nominee for Deputy Speaker had received 183 votes. Imran Khan has invited several cricketers from Pakistan and India to the August 18 oath-taking ceremony.
Shehbaz Sharif, brother of the now-jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, was elected the Leader of Opposition. Shehbaz was challenging Imran Khan for the top job, but his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lacked enough votes.
The Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) had proposed that the 11-party Opposition camp should nominate someone else as their joint candidate. The PPP was against Shehbaz’s nomination because the latter had made derogatory remarks against Asif Ali Zardari recently. But PML-N remained firm on its nomination. The PPP eventually decided to abstain from the election of the leader of the house. Jamaat-i-Islami, another party in the Opposition camp, had also decided not to participate in the voting of the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan. It further weakened the Opposition alliance.
Imran Khan emerged the favorite in last month’s elections
In the July 25 election, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won 116 seats. Their tally increased to 125 after nine independent members joined the PTI-led alliance. Later, the Election Commission allotted PTI 28 out of 60 seats reserved for women and five out of 10 seats reserved for minorities. It took PTI’s tally to 158.
Imran Khan has also gathered the support of smaller, regional parties such as Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) with seven seats, Balochistan Awami Party with five seats, Balochistan National Party with four seats, and many others. He secured 176 votes on Friday, exceeding the 172 votes required.
Shehbaz Sharif’s PML-N was the second largest party with 82 seats. It was followed by the PPP with 53 seats. The MMA had won 15 seats in the July 25 election. The PML-N and PPP both have alleged rigging and military manipulation during last month’s national election. Imran Khan has promised to investigate the allegations.
It is the third consecutive democratic government in Pakistan since 2008. General Pervez Musharraf ruled the country as President between 2001 and 2008 before announcing general elections. The PPP won the 2008 elections and ran the country through 2013, when PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif became the prime minister of Pakistan.