Imran elected PM won by 176 votes & Shehbaz 96 only

ISLAMABAD: Amid a clear divide between the main opposition parties, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan elected as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan by the 15th National Assembly with a comfortable win in one-on-one contest with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif during its ongoing inaugural session (Friday).

Latest updates, after voting declared Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan PM wonn by 176 votes and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif 96 only.

Following the decision of the PPP not to vote for Shahbaz Sharif in the prime minister’s election, the election for the top slot in the National Assembly would be a mere formality.

The PPP during a consultative meeting in Islamabad decided that the party’s members would attend the National Assembly’s proceedings today, but would not participate in the voting. As a result, Shahbaz Sharif will manage less than 95 votes, whereas Imran Khan is expected to secure over 180 votes.

Still it would have been a comfortable win for Imran Khan, had the PPP leadership decided to vote for Shahbaz Sharif. The newly-elected Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri in Wednesday’s secret balloting clinched 183 votes, seven more than the votes secured by Asad Qaiser when he was elected as the Speaker of House. Eight out of 330 polled votes were rejected.

However, it would not be secret balloting as Leader of the House would be elected openly through division of vote. The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leadership during its central Shura meeting in Lahore on Tuesday decided that its member Abdul Akbar Chitrali will abstain during the voting process for the PM’s election. “We have conveyed our decision to the MMA president that our MNA will not use his vote” Liaquat Baloch, Secretary General of the JI, told.

Baloch said the main opposition parties — PPP and PML-N — deviated from the decisions taken at the sitting of the all parties conference, therefore, the JI was not bound to follow the decisions of these parties.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly Secretariat accepted nomination papers of Imran Khan and opposition’s candidate Shahbaz Sharif. The House is likely to experience repetition of Wednesday’s protest when Speaker Asad Qaiser took oath amid uproar as the PML-N sources said its MNAs would stage a strong protest immediately after announcement of the result of the prime minister’s election.

The PML-N sources said the party’s MNAs would create uproar during the maiden speech of the new prime minister following the announcement of result by the speaker. However, a senior leader of the PML-N told The News the decision regarding the protest would be taken according to the situation in the House.