Shehbaz Sharif, Mahmood Qureshi in race for PM seat as Imran Khan loses power

Imran Khan, Pakistan
[Photo: Twitter/Imran Khan]

The Pakistan National Assembly is all set to elect the 23rd prime minister of Pakistan today after the top slot fell vacant as Imran Khan was voted out of power through a no-confidence motion on Saturday night, Pakistan media report.

With this, Khan has become the first Prime Minister of Pakistan to be removed by a no-trust vote.

There are two candidates contesting for the prime minister’s post — PML-N’s Shehbaz Sharif and PTI’s Shah Mahmood Qureshi, with former having greater prospects of success.

The NA session to elect the new leader of the House, which was earlier supposed to start at 11am, will convene at 2pm, a report by Geo News said.

The NA Secretariat issued the order of the day for April 11, according to which election of the prime minister, under Article 91 of the Constitution, read with Rule 32 of Rules of Business and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, is the only item to be taken up by the House.

Qureshi’s participation, however, can still be considered uncertain as PTI remains indecisive on whether to go for en masse resignations of MNAs or not. The candidate will have to resign if the rest of PTI and allied parties’ MNAs tender resignations, the report said.

The PTI parliamentary party faced a split over the issue of resignations from the NA, with Fawad Chaudhry and Sheikh Rashid Ahmad claiming MNAs would resign en masse after the election of prime minister and Ali Muhammad Khan saying almost 95% of the party MNAs oppose quitting the assemblies.

Qureshi also said that no final decision had been reached yet.

Quoting sources, the report said that the majority of the PTI members were not in favour of resigning from the Assembly, but Sheikh Rasheed and Fawad Chaudhry were actively trying to push the party out of the political arena.

Members were of the view that if this happens, the PTI, as a political party, will “suffer irreparable damage,” the report said quoting sources.

On Sunday night, the NA Secretariat accepted the nomination papers of joint Opposition’s nominee Sharif and his opponent Qureshi’s nomination papers to contest the re-election for the slot of the prime minister.

Taking to Twitter, the NA announced that the nomination papers of both candidates were scrutinised, after which they were accepted.

The Opposition parties submitted eleven nomination papers to the NA Secretariat for Shehbaz Sharif with no covering candidates. Meanwhile, top PPP leaders Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari signed a nomination paper as the proposer and seconder, while Khursheed Shah and Naveed Qamar also signed the other nomination paper as the proposer and seconder.

MQM parliamentarians Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Syed Aminul Haq, were the proposer and seconder for Shehbaz Sharif in the third nomination paper.

Similarly, Mohsin Dawar, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Azam Khan Hoti, Khawaja Asif, Maulana Asad Mahmood, Sardar Akhtar Mengal, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Khalid Magsi were proposers, while Ali Wazir, Khwaja Saad Rafique, Nawab Shahzain Bugti, Rana Tanveer Hussain, Shahida Akhtar Ali, Agha Hasan Baloch, Maryam Aurangzeb and Muhammad Israr Tarin were seconders in eight other Shehbaz Sharif’s nomination papers, the report said.

PTI parliamentarians Zain Qureshi, Ms Malaika Bokhari and Aamir Dogar submitted the nomination papers of Shah Mehmood Qureshi with the NA secretary. Aamir Dogar and Ali Muhammad Khan signed the nomination papers as seconder and proposer of the PTI candidate.


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