Shehbaz Sharif — the 70-year-old brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the leader of opposition PML-N — has been elected unopposed as the next Prime Minister of Pakistan, succeeding Imran Khan, who was removed by a no-trust vote on Saturday. Ahead of the election of the new Prime Minister, Imran Khan resigned as a member of the National Assembly, saying he will not sit in the assemblies with “thieves”. His party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, boycotted the voting and staged a walkout before resigning en masse, effectively ending any opposition to Mr Sharif’s election.
The PTI had fielded Shah Mahmood Qureshi as its Prime Ministerial candidate.
But minutes before the session, former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said all PTI lawmakers will resign from the National Assembly and not become part of any government which was being formed under a “foreign agenda”, The reference was to Mr Khan’s allegation that the US was involved in a conspiracy with the opposition to topple his government.
The decision, Mr Chaudhry said, was taken at a meeting of lawmakers of the party ahead of prime ministerial elections.
“A man who has one corruption case of 16 billion rupees and another corruption case of 8 billion rupees against him…for that person to be selected and elected as the Prime Minister, there cannot be a bigger insult to the country. We are resigning from the National Assembly,” Imran Khan was quoted as saying by PTI’s official Twitter account.
In his maiden speech as the Prime Minister in the National Assembly, Mr Sharif said if Imran Khan’s claims of foreign conspiracy proves correct, he “will go home”. “Pakistan will celebrate this day,” he added.