Pakistan MPs endorse Imran Khan as PM


AUGUST 17, 2018

In this photo released by the National Assembly, the leader of Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf party Imran Khan greets speaker Asad Qaiser in Islamabad.   | Photo Credit: AP

The victorious Imran Khan will take oath as Prime Minister on Saturday.

Pakistani lawmakers on Friday elected former cricket star and longtime politician Imran Khan as the country’s next prime minister, in a step toward the country’s third civilian transfer of power.

In the vote at the National Assembly, Khan secured 176 votes, defeating the opposition’s candidate, Shahbaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League party, who got 96 votes.

The populist Tehrik-e-Insaf party won the most seats in the July 25 vote but fell short of securing a majority in the 342-seat house.

Mr. Khan is to be sworn in as prime minister on Saturday. His mandate lasts five years.

In his first speech to lawmakers as premier, Khan dismissed allegations of election fraud and vowed to enforce “ruthless accountability” to combat corruption.

Mr. Khan is a former Oxford graduate and formed his party in 1996 in the eastern city of Lahore, vowing to forge a corruption-free “new Pakistan” with justice for all without discrimination.

The elder Sharif, who served as Pakistan’s Prime Minister three times, was disqualified last year by the Supreme Court for concealing assets abroad. Later, an anti-corruption tribunal convicted and sentenced Sharif to ten years in jail over family’s purchase of luxury apartments in London.

Mr. Khan in recent years himself led widespread protest rallies against Sharif’s government after the 2013 elections, alleging ballot rigging.

Mr. Sharif is the younger brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is serving a ten-year jail term in a corruption case. Addressing lawmakers, the younger Sharif insisted that last month’s elections were manipulated in Khan’s favour.

Courtesy: PTI