Shehbaz Sharif elected as new Pakistan prime minister
Imran Khan, a cricketer-turned-politician, was removed in the early hours of Sunday after 174 MPs voted against him in Parliament during a no-trust motion.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Shehbaz Sharif was on Monday elected as the country’s new prime minister after 174 votes were cast in his favour in the 342-seat Assembly, Dawn reported. A swearing-in ceremony was held on Monday night.
He is the younger brother of three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the 23rd premier of the country.
The developments came two days after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan became the first prime minister in the country’s history to lose a no-confidence vote. Shehbaz Sharif led the Opposition’s bid in Parliament to remove Khan.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Ayaz Sadiq replaced Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri in the chair as the voting for the new prime minister commenced, Dawn reported.
However, ahead of the vote, Khan and all lawmakers of his party resigned en masse, boycotting the election of Sharif. The decision was taken in during a parliamentary committee chaired by Khan, according to Geo News.
“The parliamentary party has decided to resign from the assemblies against the imported government,” Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Central Information Secretary Farrukh Habib said in a tweet, according to the Dawn.
‘Good has prevailed over evil’
Shehbaz, in his first address after his election, said that this was the first time that a no-confidence motion against a prime minister had been successful and “good has prevailed over evil”, PTI reported. It was a big day for the nation and the selected prime minister had been removed in a legal and constitutional manner, he added.
The 70-year-old said that the value of the US dollar declining by Rs 8 signified the “happiness of the people”. He noted that the Supreme Court’s order to the Speaker to call a session on April 9 to organise a no-confidence vote against Khan was a historic day.
“So, if [what the previous government claimed about the threat letter] is a lie, then the matter should be disclosed transparently before the public,” he said, according to PTI.
Shehbaz vowed to resign if there is evidence that Khan was ousted by foreign conspirators. He noted that there would be a briefing to discuss the communique, in the presence of the parliament’s security committee, armed forces personnel and bureaucrats of the Inter-Services Intelligence chief, foreign secretary, and the ambassador who wrote it, PTI reported.
Earlier on Monday, Sharif announced that he will form the new Cabinet only after consultations with his allies, according to Dawn.
On Sunday, the National Assembly’s Secretariat had accepted the nomination papers of Sharif and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Sharif was jointly nominated for the post of the country’s prime minister by the Opposition leaders such as Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto and Fazal-ur-Rehman amongst others.
After the trust vote against Khan on Saturday, Sharif had promised that the new government of Pakistan would not indulge in politics of revenge.
“I don’t want to go back to bitterness of the past,” Sharif had said. “We want to forget them and move forward. We will not take revenge or do injustice, we will not send people to jail for no reason, law and justice will take its course.”
Political crisis in Pakistan
In the early hours of Sunday, Khan was removed as prime minister after he lost a no-confidence vote in the National Assembly. A total of 174 members in the 342-member House voted in favour of the no-trust vote, two more than the required number of 172.
Khan had repeatedly claimed that the Opposition colluded with the United States to unseat him because of his foreign policy choices. The White House, however, denied any involvement in Pakistan’s internal politics.
After his ouster on Sunday, Khan said that a “freedom struggle against a foreign conspiracy of regime change” has started in the country. He had also chaired a Parliamentary board meeting of his party’s core committee to discuss the future course of action.
On Sunday evening, Khan’s supporters held several protest rallies against his ouster in the cities of Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Multan, Quetta, Abbottabad, Faisalabad and Nowshera among others.