Shehbaz Sharif elected Pakistan's new premier

World  |
Editor : Gülcan Ayboğan

Lawmakers from ousted premier Imran Khan's party resign from parliament

Shehbaz Sharif elected Pakistan's new premier

Pakistan’s parliament on Monday elected former opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif as the country's new prime minister.

Shehbaz, the younger brother of three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and a joint candidate of the combined opposition secured 174 votes in a 342-member lower legislative chamber, the National Assembly.

A minimum of 172 votes were required for a simple majority in the parliament.

Shehbaz's election came following a successful no-confidence vote against former premier Imran Khan on Sunday.

His opponent, former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who was the candidate of the ousted premier's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, boycotted the elections following his party's decision to resign from the parliament.

In a passionate address to the house before boycotting the election, Qureshi said: "We cannot be part of this farce after proving that this entire exercise is the outcome of an international conspiracy."

Ousted Prime Minister Khan together with over 120 PTI lawmakers announced that they are resigning from the parliament and "taking to the streets against an imported government."

The resignations, however, will not be in effect until the speaker of the National Assembly accepts them, according to the country's constitution.

Khan accuses the US of toppling his government for his "independent foreign policy."

23rd prime minister

As soon as acting Speaker Ayaz Sadiq announced the results, lawmakers thumped desks and chanted slogans in favor of the newly-elected premier, former President Asif Zardari, and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently in London.

Shehbaz, 70, was pivotal in the opposition’s push to topple Khan’s government.

He will be sworn in as the 23rd premier of Pakistan on Monday evening. President Arif Alvi will administer the oath at the President House in the capital Islamabad.

Shehbaz has previously served as the chief minister of the key Punjab province, where he developed a reputation as an efficient administrator.

The new premier will serve for the remaining one and a half years tenure, while the possibility of early elections is more likely.

He is expected to announce his Cabinet in a day or two.

Shehbaz has called for improving ties with the US, terming them "critical" for Pakistan, a noticeable departure from Khan’s frosty relations with Washington that he accused of orchestrating his ouster.

Khan, for his part, has announced that he would not accept the "imported government," calling on his supporters to protest against the new regime.

Tens of thousands of his supporters took to the streets on Sunday night across the country to protest against Khan's ouster, terming it a "foreign conspiracy."

WARNING: Comments that contain insults, swearing, offensive sentences or allusions, attacks on beliefs, are not written with spelling rules, do not use Turkish characters and are written in capital letters are not approved.