Shehbaz Sharif becomes Prime Minister of Pakistan for second time

Shehbaz Sharif elected prime minister for a second time after controversial elections
PM Shehbaz Sharif (Photo: Social Media)

Islamabad, Pakistan – Shehbaz Sharif has been elected as the Prime Minister of Pakistan for a second term as the outcome of the rigged election. The vote, held on February 8, was marred by rigging and delayed results.

In a session on Sunday, the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, convened to elect the premier. Shehbaz Sharif secured 201 votes out of 336, surpassing the required minimum of 169 votes. His rival, Omar Ayub Khan, received 92 votes.

The Sunday Assembly session experienced a delayed and chaotic start as PTI-backed SIC legislators called Shehbaz “Thieves!” Because of corruption cases against the Sharif brothers.

Nawaz Sharif faced a corruption conviction in 2018, leading him to a self-imposed exile in the United Kingdom. He returned in October of the preceding year to participate in the polls.

The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz Party (PMLN), led by his brother and another puppet former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, secured 73 seats, while their longtime rivals, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), won 54 seats.

The PTI party, led by Imran Khan but emerged as the largest group with 93 seats. Despite winning the majority of seats in the February 8 general election, PTI faced challenges from the PML-N and PPP’s power-sharing deal, potentially sidelining Imran Khan’s return to power. 

Imran Khan has been incarcerated and handed a minimum 10-year prison sentence for various offences, such as corruption and disclosing state secrets. In February, a district court sentenced Khan and his wife to an additional seven years in prison, asserting that their 2018 marriage breached the law. Khan maintains that the charges are politically motivated.

Shehbaz Sharif, aged 72, served as prime minister until August last year when the National Assembly was dissolved for the caretaker government to conduct national elections.

Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, founded the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) party, currently in alliance with the PPP to form the government.

Despite the opposition’s claims of rigging, Shehbaz Sharif’s return is expected to bring challenges, including economic difficulties and protests from loyal supporters of Imran Khan. Sharif will need to address the nation’s worsening poverty and engage in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an economic deal.

In his speech, Sharif expressed gratitude to his allies and emphasized his commitment to political stability, promising to work closely with all provinces. The opposition, however, continued to protest, accusing Sharif of electoral irregularities.

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