PML-N’s Khaqan Abbasi elected as 18th Prime Minister of Pakistan

Pakistan’s parliament elected ex-oil minister and PML-N’s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as prime minister, days after three-times premier Nawaz Sharif was ousted by the Supreme Court.

Abbasi, the favoured candidate to win, swept the election with a majority vote. He received 221 of 339 votes.

While addressing in NA session, PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that I want to thank the supporters and our partners in the coalition who voted for us.

He said that four days ago, the Supreme Court verdict was completely embraced by us but not the public. The prime minister left the PM House after the verdict. There were no rifts in the party following the verdict, he added.

Abbasi has been elected as an interim prime minister and will hold the post till the election of incumbent Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to the National Assembly.

PPP’s Naveed Qamar secured 47 votes while PTI’s candidate Sheikh Rasheed managed to secured 33 votes.

The speaker ordered certain members to be removed due to the ruckus created in the house.

Candidates fielded

Major political parties had fielded their respective candidates for the premier slot.

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had nominated former petroleum minister and veteran politician Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as its candidate for prime minister.

From the assembly’s second biggest party in terms of numbers, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Naveed Qamar was contesting for the slot whereas Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) fielded Sheikh Rasheed as its nominee.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), the assembly’s fourth largest party, voted for the PML-N candidate. The party had earlier nominated its MNA Kishwer Zehra for the slot but withdrew her nominated following a meeting with PML-N leaders.

Jamaat-e-Islami fielded Sahibzada Tariqullah as their candidate for the new prime minister.

The opposition intended to ‘put up a fight’, although the PML-N held a majority in the National Assembly.

The opposition parties’ meeting on Monday failed to result in agreement over a joint candidate.

At present, there are three seats empty, including the one of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, in the 342-seat Lower House of the Parliament.

The winning candidate required 172 votes to win.

The process

According to the Constitution and rules of the House, the speaker will announce the process for members to elect a new Leader of the House. For five minutes, bells will be rung in the lobby to let members gather inside the assembly hall.

The speaker will announce the name of every member one-by-one and in alphabetical order to receive his/her ballot paper. The members would mark the candidate of their choice with a tick on the ballot paper and put it in the ballot box.

If a member of the assembly impresses any other mark on the ballot paper other than the checkmark and/or ticked more than one name, did not impress the mark correctly or left the ballot paper unmarked, his or her vote will be rejected.

“If you support anyone after me, I ask you to support Shehbaz Sharif,” said Nawaz during the meeting, held at the Punjab House a day after Nawaz’s ouster by the apex court.

“It will take Shehbaz Sharif 50-55 days to take over as prime minister. He will have to contest [national] elections. For the interim period, I am recommending Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for the position of prime minister.”

Then prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified from holding public office by the Supreme Court on Friday.

Sharif was disqualified under Article 62 (1) (f) of the Constitution over his failure to disclose un-withdrawn receivables constituting assets from a UAE-based company. It implied he was not ‘honest’ and ‘truthful’, as per the country’s Constitution.


Source: Web Desk


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