Shehbaz Sharif becomes Pakistan’s Prime Minister for a second time


ISALAMABAD: Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday became the prime minister of Pakistan for a second time to lead a coalition government after he comfortably won a majority in the newly-elected Parliament amidst sloganeering by the Opposition.

Shehbaz, 72, who was the consensus candidate of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), received 201 votes, 32 more than what was required to become leader of the House in the 336-member Parliament.

Shehbaz’s challenger Omar Ayub Khan of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) secured 92 votes.

National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq announced the results appointing Shehbaz as the 24th prime minister of Pakistan.

Shehbaz will be administered the oath of office on Monday at the Presidential mansion, Aiwan-e-Sadr.

The session of the new parliament convened amid ruckus and sloganeering by PTI-backed lawmakers.

The PTI-backed lawmakers shouted slogans of ‘Azaadi (freedom)’ and Qaidi #804′, a reference to incarcerated Imran Khan. Some of the PTI-backed lawmakers also held posters of Imran Khan.

In response to the pro-Imran slogans, PML-N lawmakers shouted ‘long live Nawaz’ and waved wristwatches at the opposition benches — referring to the Toshakhana corruption case against Khan.

The PML-N party supremo Nawaz Sharif was the first person who voted for Shehbaz in the race for the election of the prime minister.

Before the vote, the PTI said the graceful thing that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif could have done was to accept defeat.

”..but he chose to live his life in shame. Every day will be worse than the previous one for these Coalition Of Losers, especially Nawaz Sharif & Maryam!” the party said in a post on X.

Shehbaz earlier served as prime minister of a coalition government from April 2022 to August 2023 before Parliament was dissolved to hold general elections.

In the February 8 polls, the Sharifs-led party failed to garner a clear majority, albeit technically, it is the largest party with 75 out of the 265 contested seats.

Besides the PPP, Shehbaz was backed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM-P), Pakistan Muslim League (Q), Balochistan Awami Party, Pakistan Muslim League (Z), Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party and the National Party.

Source: Press Trust of India

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