Shehbaz Sharif elected Prime Minister of Pakistan for second term

Shehbaz Sharif has been re-elected as Pakistan’s Prime Minister for a second term amid controversy surrounding last month’s election.

Shehbaz secured 201 votes in the 336-member National Assembly, prevailing over rival Omar Ayub Khan, who won 92. The winner needed at least 169 votes.

Shehbaz Sharif, 72, was the joint candidate of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) party and its ally Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). While Omar Ayub Khan was backed by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), the political group with legislators belonging to former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party joined after the PTI was barred from contesting for allegedly violating election laws.

“Shehbaz Sharif is declared to have been elected the prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq said.

The newly-elected PM vowed to bring political stability in the country. “We will work closely with all four provinces and I promise I will keep them along,” he said.

His return to office follows his brother’s decision to decline a fourth term, maintaining stability within the coalition after Imran Khan’s ousting. Despite winning only 80 seats in the election, Sharif’s PMLN party garnered support from other parties for a majority.

Pakistan’s current government is often called PDM 2.0 – a reference to the coalition government which ruled the country for 16 months following the ouster of Imran Khan government in April 2022.

Profile

Born into a wealthy Kashmiri-origin family in Lahore, Shehbaz Sharif embarked on his political journey as Punjab’s chief minister in 1997. He is known for his “can-do”proactive administrative approach.

Shehbaz is the younger brother of three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who founded the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) party.

Shehbaz Sharif has a history of executing ambitious infrastructure projects. His re-election comes after serving as Punjab’s chief minister and leading the PMLN after his brother’s disqualification in 2017 in the Panama Papers scandal.

Married twice, Sharif has two sons involved in politics while others remain out of public life.

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