KARACHI, Pakistan : Pakistan’s parliament will elect a new prime minister on Monday after Imran Khan’s ouster in a no-confidence vote.
Shehbaz Sharif, younger brother of three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is the joint candidate of the combined opposition.
The 70-year-old was pivotal in the opposition’s push to topple Khan’s government.
He has previously served as chief minister of the key Punjab province, where he developed a reputation as an efficient administrator.
Sharif has called for improving ties with the US, terming them critical for Pakistan, a noticeable departure from Khan’s frosty views regarding Washington, whom he accused of orchestrating his ouster.
Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has nominated ex-Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for the premier’s post.
Qureshi, who is vice chairman of the PTI, was a prominent figure in Khan’s government, leading Islamabad’s efforts to carve out its own space in rapidly changing regional and global geopolitics.
Either candidate needs to get a minimum of 172 votes in the 342-member National Assembly, the lower house of Pakistan’s parliament.
The opposition alliance that ousted Khan with 174 votes just after Saturday midnight claims to have the support of 176 parliamentarians, along with some 20 PTI dissidents.
The PTI and its remaining allies have 142 votes, excluding the 20 dissidents, making victory for Sharif a near certainty.— AA