Pakistan’s new prime minister sworn in after controversial election

World

Shehbaz Sharif has been sworn in as Pakistan’s new prime minister after being elected a day earlier in a raucous parliamentary session.

He held the same position from April 2022 to August 2023, replacing arch-rival Imran Khan, who was kicked out of the job after a no-confidence vote.

Mr Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League party, the PML-N, did not win enough seats to form a government but went into coalition with others to get a majority, clearing his path to a second premiership.

The PML-N is spearheaded by Mr Sharif’s elder brother, three-time premier Nawaz Sharif, but he decided not to take the prime minister’s post.

The appointment is controversial because opponents of the new leader claimed the parliamentary elections were rigged in his favour.

The election held on 8 February was marred by a mobile internet shutdown, arrests and violence – and the unusually delayed results triggered accusations the vote was fixed.

Mr Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, the PTI, insists it did better in the poll, but electoral theft and other irregularities deprived it of a parliamentary majority.

Mr Sharif secured 201 votes in parliament to become prime minister, defeating the PTI-backed candidate Omar Ayub, who got 92 votes.

Monday’s swearing-in ceremony was held in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

Image:
Pakistan’s president Arif Alvi, right, administers the oath to the new prime minister. Pic: Reuters

Read more on Sky News:
Anger as Pakistan’s parliament confirms new PM
Old political allies agree to form next government

Mr Sharif pledged to perform his duties and functions with honesty and loyalty and always for the country’s independence, “integrity, stability, and for the sake of unity”.

But stability and unity are in short supply in Pakistani politics, and Mr Sharif has a tough task of bringing politicians together to steer the country through challenging times.

The first two sessions of parliament have been chaotic and noisy, with the opposition shouting and jeering at the new government because of their election grievances.

Articles You May Like

Police identify Sydney attacker who killed six people
Iran attack was ‘declaration of war’, Israeli president says – but insists ‘we are seeking peace’
Illinois to spend $25.1 million on public EV charging infrastructure
Israel braced for Iranian attack as US moves ‘additional assets’ in region
UK, EU and Spain hail ‘significant progress’ in Gibraltar talks