Islamabad: Imran Khan was elected as the 22nd prime minister of Pakistan during a special session of the Lower House on Friday after the majority of National Assembly members voted for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman.
“Imran Khan has secured 176 votes,” National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser said after the vote. Imran needed a simple majority of 172 in the 342-seat National Assembly to take power. His only rival, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif won 96 votes.
PML-N leaders protested in the assembly following the announcement of the result.
Earlier, the session began under the chairmanship of Speaker Asad Qaiser. The process to elect the country’s premier for the next five-year term commenced with those supporting Imran gathering Lobby A and Shehbaz’s supporters gathering in Lobby B.
The process was an open ballot voting process. Lawmakers told the authorities of their vote and then made their way to the lobbies assigned to each of the candidates.
PTI’s Imran Khan and PML-N’s Shehbaz Sharif were vying for the coveted position–with the former tipped favourite. Other lawmakers also arrived for the session scheduled to commence at 3:30pm.
The PTI’s Faisal Vawda, Aamir Liaquat Hussain, Shah Mehmood Qureshi are among those present. The Pakistan Peoples Party’s Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Hina Rabbani Khar and other MNAs are also in the house. In an earlier session, the PML-N decided to stage a protest after voting concluded. PML-N lawmakers present in the Parliament are wearing black armbands as well.
Meanwhile, ruckus was witnesses near the public gallery as security prevented journalists form entering.
The PPP has decided to abstain from voting. Co-chairman Bilawal said the party had the right to abstain from voting. Earlier, the party had said it would not support PML-N. The Jamaat-e-Islami is also not partaking in the exercise.
The PTI, according to spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry, will obtain over 180 votes. “It is obvious that Imran will win,” he said. The PTI chief also called for a parliamentary meeting prior to the session.
The PTI has currently 152 members in the National Assembly. Seven of its allied parties’ take the tally to 183. The MQM-P has seven seats; Pakistan Muslim League and Balochistan Awami Party three each; Balochistan National Party four; Grand Democratic Alliance three and Awami Muslim League and Jamhoori Watan Party one each. Nine independent lawmakers have also joined the PTI.
With 82 members, the PML-N is the largest party on the opposition benches followed by the PPP with 53. The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal has 15 MNAs and the Awami National Party, one.