Written by Devuni Goonewardene
17 Aug, 2018 | 7:20 pm
Colombo (News 1st) – Former cricket star Imran Khan has been elected as the Prime Minister of Pakistan in a vote at the country’s National Assembly.
His PTI party won the most number of seats in July’s elections – setting up Imran Khan to become PM with the help of small parties, more than two decades after he first entered politics.
He will be sworn in on Saturday (August 17). Imran Khan will inherit a country with a mounting economic crisis and he has vowed to create a “new Pakistan”.
In the vote today (August 17), Khan was backed by 176 National Assembly members. His opponent, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif, received 96 votes. In the lead-up to the election, Khan was widely seen as the favoured candidate of the powerful military, which was accused of meddling against his rivals.
Three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was ousted from office in 2017 over corruption allegations. He was jailed in the lead-up to the vote, and his brother, Shahbaz Sharif, led the PML-N party into the election. After the election, three major opposition parties banded together to nominate Shahbaz Sharif as a joint candidate in a bid to thwart Imran Khan.
However, the PPP party of assassinated ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto – is reported to have withdrawn its support for Shahbaz Sharif in the run-up to the vote and abstained from voting.
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