PoliticsPakistan's parliament elects Shahbaz Sharif as prime minister after Khan's withdrawal

Pakistan’s parliament elects Shahbaz Sharif as prime minister after Khan’s withdrawal

Pakistan’s parliament elected Shahbaz Sharif as the country’s new prime minister after Imran Khan was banished by a distrust resolution early Sunday morning. Opposition coalition leaders who campaigned to expel Mr.  Khan received majority support in parliament.

Shahbaz Sharif will form a new government that can remain in power until the next election in August 2023. Khan, 69, was voted after days of great political drama.

He sought to thwart previous attempts to submit a distrust resolution against him by dissolving Congress and demanding early elections.

However, the Supreme Court of the State upheld the opposition allegation that his actions were unconstitutional and ordered the distrust resolution to continue.

On Monday, Mr. Sharif will be Pakistan’s 23rd prime minister without opposition to parliament.

But his promotion does not guarantee peaceful progress, nor does it solve many of the country’s economic problems, including high inflation and a deepening energy crisis.  Sharif, the brother of the disgraceful former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, won 174 votes after more than 100 members from Pakistan’s Tehreeke Insaf or Pakistan’s Justice Party resigned and left parliament in protest.  These 174 votes (two more than the simple majority required) are sufficient to pass the bill in a 342-seat parliament. If Khan’s supporters go out on the streets as he swore, it could put more pressure on lawmakers and deepen the crisis. Former cricket star Khan, whose conservative Islamist ideology and stubborn independence shaped his three-year and eight-month tenure, was banished early Sunday. He lost his distrust resolution after being abandoned by fellow party members and major coalition partners

Rival candidate Shah Mahmood Qureshi has announced that Pakistan’s Tehreeke Insaf party, led by Mr. Khan, has boycotted parliamentary votes and is on strike. The former Prime Minister and most of his party’s parliamentarians resigned from their seats prior to voting.

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