Politics

Shehbaz Sharif Ascends to Power as Pakistan’s 24th Prime Minister

Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, the President of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), has been elected as the 24th Prime Minister of Pakistan. Backed by seven other parties, Sharif secured a decisive victory with 201 votes, defeating the PTI-backed and Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) nominated candidate, Omar Ayub Khan, who managed to garner only 92 votes.

The official results of the prime minister elections were announced by the National Assembly Speaker, Ayaz Sadiq. With this victory, Sharif also assumes the role of the Leader of the House in the Lower House of the Parliament, the National Assembly.

The National Assembly session, which was delayed by an hour, commenced with the recitation of the Holy Quran, followed by the reading of a Hadith and Naat, and the national anthem of Pakistan. Prominent political figures, including PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, were present at the session.

Following the Speaker’s directions, the doors of the National Assembly Hall were closed, and the voting process was completed. Notably, Akhter Mengal and JUI-F abstained from participating in the voting process.

The election was not without controversy. PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council members protested against the PDM 2.0, a coalition of eight parties set to form the Central government. They alleged that the PDM leaders had stolen the mandate, a claim vehemently rejected by the PMLN and PPP.

Amid tight security arrangements, IPP leader Aun Chaudhry reached the Parliament House. Hundreds of Police, Rangers, and FC personnel were deployed both inside and outside the Parliament for the National Assembly session. Vehicles were allowed to enter the Parliament House only after thorough checking, and ordinary visitors were barred from attending the session.

In another development, Jam Kamal took an oath as a member of the National Assembly. The oath was administered by NA speaker Ayaz Sadiq. Kamal, a former chief minister of Balochistan, is now an MNA from the province.

Sharif’s election as Prime Minister comes three weeks after uncertain national elections caused delays in the formation of a coalition government. The February 8 election was marred by a mobile internet shutdown, arrests, and violence, leading to unusually delayed results and accusations of vote rigging.

Sharif, 72, is the younger brother of three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who led the PML-N party’s election campaign. He returns to the role he held until August when the parliament was dissolved ahead of the elections, and a caretaker government took over.

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