Pakistani lawmakers elect Imran Khan as new PM

Erika Holt
August 18, 2018

Chairman Imran Khan was elected as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan on Friday after the PTI leader secured 176 votes in the National Assembly while his opponent, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif received 96 votes.

The PTI has heralded the election win - the first time anyone other than the PML-N, the PPP or the country's powerful military has ruled Pakistan in more than four decades - as "the end of an era".

In the July 25 elections, Imran Khan's PTI won 116 of the directly contested 272 seats, just 21 short of the halfway mark.

An ally of Khan's, the PTI's Asad Qaiser, was earlier elected speaker of Pakistan's lower house, paving the way for Friday's vote when a simple majority made the former cricketing star the country's prime minister.

The result announcement by the speaker of the house rattled lawmakers of PML-N sparking a loud protest against Khan's victory as unacceptable repeatedly chanting "Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif" who was judicially ousted from the premiership previous year and is serving time in prison on corruption charges.

"I did not climb on any dictator's shoulders; I reached this place after struggling for 22 years".

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Social media is flooded with the words of appreciation, admiration for approbation for the newest and much younger opposition leader Bilawal Bhutto.

Earlier this week, former Indian captain Kapil Dev announced that he can not attend Imran- Khan's oath taking ceremony due to "personal commitments".

Activists from the Jamiat Ulema-e Islam party protest against alleged election rigging in Peshawar, Pakistan, on July 27, 2018.

But Mr Khan will face a battle to push through his ambitious reforms and legislative agenda due to the thin majority in the National Assembly.

The Pakistan People's Party (PPP), with 54 seats backed out of supporting Sharif's candidacy, weakening the position of the PML-N, which has 81 seats. "We will hold you accountable for stealing votes" firmly said Sharif and continued his diatribe over systematic election rigging hurling accusations.

When Imran Khan was addressing the assembly, members from the opposition benches kept shouting "vote ko izzat do" and tried their best to disrupt the speech, however, Imran continued his speech flanked by the party loyalists.

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