Pakistan to elect new prime minister today, Shehbaz Sharif set to take oath – Hindustan Times

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Shehbaz Sharif, a senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and brother of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, is poised to become the Islamic nation’s 33rd premier on Sunday.
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Shehbaz Sharif, the consensus candidate of PML-N and Bilawal Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), submitted his nomination on Saturday after he was declared as the official candidate from the party for the government’s top post following the February 8 elections producing a split mandate. Meanwhile, former PM Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has nominated Omar Ayub Khan for the PM’s post.
The National Assembly secretariat announced the poll schedule to elect the head of the government on Sunday. With the 2 candidates, the stage is set for Sunday’s election, which is expected to be a one-sided affair in favour of Shehbaz Sharif.
In the February 8 polls, none of the parties managed to win the majority mark– 133 seats out of 265 contested seats in the National Assembly–to form the government. Around 70 seats were reserved for women and minorities, divided between parties on a proportional basis. Khan’s PTI along with support of Independent candidates won 93 seats, while the PML-N won 75 seats.
A candidate must receive 169 votes in the 336-member parliament to be elected PM. PML-N and its allies, meanwhile, claim to have enjoyed the support of over 200 legislators. In a post-poll alliance, the Mutahhida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party, and the PPP have all backed the PML-N’s candidate, while the PTI-backed opposition has 102 lawmakers. Meanwhile, PTI has alleged rigging in election results and held nationwide protests against the mandate.
The successful candidate will be administered the oath of office on Monday at the Presidential mansion, Aiwan-e-Sadr. If so, Shehbaz Sharif would take oath as the PM for the second time. He had earlier become PM when Imran Khan’s government was ousted in April 2022 and served as PM for 16 months until August 2023 when fresh elections were announced.
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At present, 304 elected representatives have taken oath whereas the Election Commission of Pakistan has so far withheld the notification of 23 reserved seats for women and minorities.
(With inputs from agencies)

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