The Pakistan National Assembly on Tuesday elected Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)’s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Prime Minister. He won the election with 221 votes.
The Opposition’s candidates secured 84 votes. Pakistan People’s Party’s Naveed Qamar got 47 votes, while the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Sheikh Rashid got 33 and Jamaat-e-Islami’s Sahibzada Tariqullah secured 4 votes, the Dawn reported.
Abbasi addressed the Lower House of the Parliament soon after his election and expressed his gratitude to the people of Pakistan. He also thanked Opposition and politician Imran Khan for “remembering us in their daily slandering,” according to the Dawn.
He added that the democratic process was back on track and said there was no dissension in the party’s ranks. “The party stands as it was,” he was quoted as saying. “No one wanted to joust for power — whoever the prime minister [Nawaz Sharif] named was supported unanimously.”
Change in leadership
On July 29, President Mamnoon Hussain called for a special session of the Lower House of the Parliament to elect a new premier after former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had quit.
On July 29, Sharif announced that Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Abbasi will be his party’s candidate for interim prime minister. He also confirmed that his brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif will be the party’s candidate for prime minister.
Sharif’s party, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), has a majority in the parliament and was expected to easily install Abbasi for the interim 45-day period before Shehbaz Sharif takes charge after being elected.
On July 28, Sharif quit after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding office for life over a corruption scandal stemming from Panama Papers leak in 2016. The documents had revealed that his family owned several illegally acquired offshore properties and businesses. The judges had said that Sharif had cheated the Parliament and the courts, and was not fit to hold the position.