Pakistani legislators on Monday has elected Shehbaz Sharif as the new Prime Minister after the ouster of Imran khan, who resigned his national assembly seat along with most of his party members ahead of the vote.
Khan was dismissed Sunday after losing the no-trust vote, providing the way for an unlikely alliance that faces a similar issue that troubled the cricketer-turned-politician.
Sharif, leader of the centrist Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), was the only candidate after Khan loyalist Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the former foreign minister, withdrew his candidacy and resigned his seat.
“It’s a victory of righteousness, and evil has been defeated,” Sharif said to cheers from lawmakers.
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party had 155 lawmakers in the 342-seat chamber before the mass resignations, and Sharif was elected with 174 votes.
His priority will be to form a cabinet that will also draw heavily from the centre-left Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and find space for the smaller conservative Jamiat-ulema-e-Islam-F (JUI-F) group.
Notably, no Prime Minister has ever served a complete term in Pakistan, but Khan has become the first ever to lose office through a vote of no trust, a defeat he has not taken well.
Moreover, he has tried almost everything to stay in power after losing his majority in parliament, including dissolving the assembly and calling a fresh election.
At the same time, the Supreme Court called all of his actions illegal and ordered them to reassemble and vote.
Meanwhile, Khan has insisted that he has been the victim of a “regime change” conspiracy involving Washington and his opponents, and has pledged to take his fight to the streets in the hope of forcing an early election.
Furthermore, Sharif promised an investigation into Khan’s allegations.
“If an iota of evidence is provided against us, I will immediately resign,” he told parliament in his maiden speech as premier.