Pakistan National Assembly on Tuesday elected PML-N’s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as the eighteenth prime minister of Pakistan following the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court last week. Thus necessitated election by the dismissal on Friday of Nawaz Sharif, a three-time prime minister who was disqualified from holding public office over allegations that he lied on a parliamentary wealth declaration form when running for office in 2013. Abbasi likely to hold the post for roughly two months, while Sharif’s younger brother Shahbaz runs in a by-election to take over from him, Nawaz announced after a party meeting on Saturday.
SK Abbasi the former petroleum minister to hold post for interim PM period before outgoing leader’s brother Shehbaz runs. Abbasi, the favoured candidate to win, swept the election with a majority vote. He received 221 of 339 votes.
“I want to thank the supporters and our partners in the coalition who voted for us,” said the new prime minister of Pakistan.
“I am also grateful to the opposition and Imran Khan, for remembering us in their daily slandering,” he added.
“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,” said Abbasi.
He added that democracy was not derailed and is now “back on track”.
Abbasi praised the leadership and principles of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and criticised the opposition for accusing Nawaz of corruption.
“Nawaz is guilty because he made this country an atomic power and strengthened the economy.”
“Whether I am in power for 45 days or 45 hours, I will work as the prime minister of the country and will not mere hold the post,” added the eighteenth prime minister.
Referring to power projects, he said there will be no load-shedding after November and mentioned the development projects started by the PML-N government.
“It is my firm belief that Nawaz Sharif will return to seat of premiership,” said Abbasi concluding his acceptance speech.
PPP’s Naveed Qamar said that the process will go on and the business of the house will continue as “individuals come and go”.
He also thanked the PPP for nominating him.
Supreme Court declared that Nawaz Sharif could no longer hold public office, and referred him, three of his children and several associates to a lower court to be tried on corruption charges.
On Monday, the National Accountability Bureau, Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog, said that it would be filing cases against Nawaz Sharif; his children Hasan, Hussain and Maryam; and Sharif’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
The cases relate to the acquisition of four apartments in London’s posh Park Lane district by the Sharifs, the operations of two steel mills in Saudi Arabia, and 16 other Sharif-owned companies in the United Kingdom, said a statement.
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.
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. Media agencies & Geo News Pakistan