ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly has elected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairperson Imran Khan as the 22nd prime minister of Pakistan, more than two decades after the former captain of the Pakistan cricket team entered politics.
Imran, whose party swept the July 25 general election and commands the loyalty of a majority of lawmakers in the Lower House of Parliament, will take oath of office on Saturday.
176 members of the National Assembly voted in favour of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairperson while his opponent, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif, received 96 votes.
After the PM’s election, PML-N lawmakers resorted to chanting slogans of ‘respect the vote’. Women lawmakers of PML-N and PTI also chanted slogans in favour of their parties.
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the third largest party in the House that joined the PML-N and others in an opposition alliance, withdrew its support for Sharif days before the election and abstained from voting. One member of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), which contested elections under the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) banner, also abstained from voting for either candidate.
Imran, while addressing the National Assembly for the first time as PM-elect, vowed that he would not spare the ones who looted the country.
Promises made by Imran Khan in inaugural address as PM-elect
“I am grateful to Almighty Allah and the nation for giving me the opportunity to bring a change which the nation wanted. The nation was longing for the change we will bring,” Khan said.
The prime minister-elect promised “strict accountability” and to bring back the looted wealth of the country.
“I promise my nation that I will do strict accountability. No robber would be given an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance),” he said, adding, “I have reached here after struggling for 22 years and have not been fostered by any military dictator.”
Khan further said that being the prime minister, he would answer the questions in the National Assembly twice a month.
In his address during the National Assembly session, Shehbaz Sharif demanded the National Assembly speaker to form a parliamentary commission over the election rigging allegations.
Shehbaz terms current assemblies ‘most controversial’ in Pakistan’s history.
“Parliamentary commission should present its report to the public and House within 30 days,” he said.
“We won’t attack parliament. We won’t disturb the visit of foreign dignitaries to Pakistan. We won’t curse the parliament. We won’t force the Supreme Court judges to change their route,” he said. “But we won’t settle before getting answers of our questions.”
The PML-N president also called the recently elected national and provincial assemblies ‘the most controversial parliament in the country’s history’.
In his maiden National Assembly address, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari termed Parliament the mother of all institutions. The PPP chairman said he was anticipating how prime minister-elect Imran Khan would implement his 100-day plan.
Bilawal Bhutto paid tribute to the martyrs who laid their lives in the attacks during the time of General Election 2018 and called for an investigation into the electoral violence.
Congratulating Imran Khan on his election, Bilawal hoped the PM-elect would refrain from politics of hatred. The PPP chairman reiterated his party’s commitment to democracy, country and the people.