As cracks appear in Opposition alliance, Imran Khan’s victory certain

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf chairman Imran Khan is set to be the Prime Minister after the Opposition alliance fell apart over the nomination of his challenger ahead of today’s Parliament election, PTI reported.

The rift persisted in the grand opposition alliance over the candidature of Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan news agency Dawn reported.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has asked the PML-N to review its decision and nominate someone else as a joint candidate of the 11-party opposition alliance in place of Sharif, who was said to have passed derogatory remarks against PPP co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari in the recent past.

However, the PML-N reacted strongly and threatened that this could lead to change of the leader of the Opposition and the chairman of the Senate.

Senior PML-N leader Mushahid Hussain said the Opposition alliance was formed to ensure fair and free elections in the country but if the PPP stuck to its stance, the alliance would collapse, Dawn reported.

PPP spokesman Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar said the party decided after a detailed discussion that it would not take part in the election of the leader of the house.

The alliance was further weakened when Jamaat-i-Islami also announced to abstain during the voting of the prime minister.

The newly elected National Assembly, which is the Parliament’s lower house will meet today to elect the Prime Minister. Both Imran Khan and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif have filed nominations for the leader of the house.

The scrutiny of the nominations were carried out in the Speaker’s office, who accepted them. According to National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, the parliament session has been summoned at 3:30 PM (1600 IST) to elect the new prime minister.

Different galleries have been designated for different candidates for the voting session. The Prime Minister-elect will take oath tomorrow.

The PTI emerged as the single largest party with 116 seats in July 25 elections. Its number increased to 125 after nine independent members joined it and final tally reached 158 after it was allotted 28 out of 60 seats reserved for women and five out of 10 seats reserved for minorities.

The PTI has the support of smaller parties including Muttahida Quami Movement with seven seats, Balochistan Awami Party five, Balochistan National Party four, Pakistan Muslim League three, Grand Democratic Alliance three, Awami Muslim League and Jamori Watan Party one seat each.

Khan may take a lead of 30 to 35 votes in the election for the office of prime minister, Dawn reported.

His party’s spokesman Faisal Javed told the media that preparations are going on for the oath taking ceremony of Khan.

Javed said that Khan will don a black sherwani on the occasion. The ceremony will be held at the President House and President Mamnoon Hussain will administer the oath to the premier. The ceremony will be kept simple.


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