Shehbaz Sharif becomes the new PM as Imran Khan’s MPs quit in protest
The leader of the opposition and brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is now the new prime minister. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf boycotted the vote and continues to blame a conspiracy for Khan’s downfall.
Islamabad (AsiaNews) – The National Assembly of Pakistan has elected Shehbaz Sharif, 70, as the country’s new prime minister.
Leader of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the new head of government is the brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who fell from grace in 2017 following the revelations in the Panama Papers.
Sharif was voted by 174 MPs from 13 parties after the Members from the hitherto ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) walked out. On Saturday, its leader, the now former Prime Minister Imran Khan, lost a vote of confidence.
In the wake of the situation, Imran Khan announced that his MPs would resign en masse from parliament, reiterating his intention to take the constitutional crisis to the streets after he was forced to give in to a ruling by the Supreme Court.
Even in today's session, before they left, PTI MPs blamed again a “conspiracy of foreign forces” for Khan’s downfall.
For years in the shadow of his brother, Shebhaz Sharif was a three-time chief minister of Punjab. Considered a pragmatist, he has had a more conciliatory relationship with the military than his brother Nawaz.
However, in his speech to the National Assembly right after his election he did not use a conciliatory tone with Imran Khan as he thanked Allah for “saving Pakistan” ensuring that “good has prevailed over evil”.
Sharif also thanked the Supreme Court for its ruling, which established the supremacy of the constitution and parliament.