Shehbaz Sharif, the 70-year-old brother of previous Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the head of the opposition PML-N, was elected unopposed as Pakistan’s next Prime Minister, succeeding Imran Khan, who was ousted on Saturday following a no-confidence motion.
Imran Khan resigned as a member of the National Assembly before of the election of the next Prime Minister, stating that he will not sit in assemblies with “thieves.” His Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party boycotted the election, and parliamentarians staged a walkout.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had put forward Shah Mahmood Qureshi as their Prime Ministerial candidate. However, just minutes before the session, former information minister Fawad Chaudhry announced that all PTI lawmakers will resign from the National Assembly and refuse to join any government formed on the basis of a “foreign agenda.” This was in response to Mr Khan’s claim that the US was conspiring with the opposition to destabilise his government.
Mr Chaudhry said the decision was made at a gathering of the party’s lawmakers ahead of the prime ministerial elections.
“There cannot be a greater insult to the country than a man who has two corruption cases against him, one for 16 billion rupees and the other for 8 billion rupees…for that person to be nominated and elected as Prime Minister, there cannot be a greater disrespect to the country.”
PTI’s official Twitter account quoted Imran Khan as saying, “We are resigning from the National Assembly.” In November 2020, Shehbaz Sharif, his son Hamza Shehbaz, and Suleman Shehbaz were named in a high-profile money laundering case. Suleman currently resides in the United Kingdom.
A Pakistani court today postponed Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz’s indictment until April 27 and extended their anticipatory bail, allowing the PML-N leader to take over as Prime Minister.
The National Assembly held a no-confidence vote against Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government late Saturday night. The opposition received 174 votes to depose Imran, making him the first Prime Minister to be deposed by a no-confidence vote.