Shehbaz Sharif elected as Pakistan PM for second term

Shehbaz Sharif elected as Pakistan PM for second term.
Shehbaz Sharif elected as Pakistan PM for second term. Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/4.0 International

Pakistan’s National Assembly on Sunday (March 3, 2024) elected Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz’s Shehbaz Sharif as the 24th elected prime minister of the country, ending the political deadlock in the nation which was created after none of the political outfits won a majority after national polls last month.

The election process was held amid a ruckus created by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).

“Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has been elected prime minister with 201 votes. [While] Omar Ayub obtained 92 votes,” announced Speaker Ayaz Sadiq as quoted by Geo News.

Omer Ayub Khan was fielded as a PTI-backed candidate.

Sharif held the post of PM after PTI chief Imran Khan was ousted from power in 2022.

Sharif was in power till August when the country’s parliament was dissolved ahead of polls.

Pakistan has been ruled by a caretaker government since then.

After his election,Sharif promised to ‘steer Pakistan’ back to the shore as the nation continued to struggle financially.

“There are talented people sitting in this Parliament who can steer Pakistan’s ship to the shore […] these include journalists, intellectuals, politicians, religious leaders,” Sharif was quoted as saying by Dawn News.

 “If we come together and decide to change the fate of Pakistan […] then God willing, we will defeat these challenges and take Pakistan to its rightful position,” he said.

Sharif held the coalition government together after ex-PM Imran Khan’s ouster from power.

He is also credited with helping Pakistan secure a last-gasp International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout last year.

PM highlights country’s debt crisis

Sharif said the country was facing an alarming debt crisis.

“But if we decide to do a deep surgery and bring changes in the system, basic reform […] and I have no doubt that Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari and others will agree that we can either get rid of a life of debt or we move forward with heads down in shame,” Sharif said in his first speech after being elected as the PM.

“No this will not happen, we will rise and we will make Pakistan self-sufficient,” he said.

After his victory, Sharif appreciated his elder brother and former PM Nawaz Sharif and other alliance partners for making him the Leader of the House.  

PML-N forms government despite not winning a majority

The PML-N formed the government in Pakistan despite winning just 80 of the 264 seats after it was backed by other parties.

When will the oath-taking ceremony be held?

Sources told ARY News that the swearing-in ceremony will be held on March 4 at 3 pm in the President’s House while President Dr Arif Alvi will administer the oath to the new prime minister.