Shehbaz Sharif becomes new prime minister of Pakistan

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Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Sharif
Sharif in 2017.
Image: Shehbaz Sharif.
Khan
Khan in 2019.
Image: US White House.

On Monday, the National Assembly of Pakistan elected former chief minister of Punjab province Shehbaz Sharif, from the Pakistan Muslim League (N), the country's next prime minister.

On Sunday, the previous prime minister since 2018, Imran Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, lost a no-confidence vote unseating him as head of government. Prior to the vote, Khan had the Assembly dissolved with a call for early elections. However, the week prior, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled this was an unconstitutional attempt to block the no-confidence vote, reinstating the Assembly.

Sharif received 174 votes in the 342-seat Assembly. All 155 members from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf resigned in protest before the vote. Khan, who has alleged a conspiracy led by the United States to unseat him, called for nationwide protests on Sunday. Tens of thousands of people were observed in demonstrations in cities such as Lahore and Peshawar.

"If we have to save the sinking boat, what we all need is hard work, and unity, unity and unity," Sharif said in a speech to the Assembly. "We are beginning a new era of development today." Sharif was subsequently sworn into office at Aiwan-e-Sadr, the presidential palace.

Sharif is the younger brother of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. In 2018, Nawaz Sharif was given a 10-year prison sentence for corruption, though he is currently in a foreign country for medical treatment. Shehbaz Sharif remains under investigation for corruption and could face charges.


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