Home News Analysis Imran Khan all set to become Pakistan’s 22nd PM today

Imran Khan all set to become Pakistan’s 22nd PM today

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News Analysis |

The parliament is all set to choose its 22nd leader today [August 17]. Pakistan Tehrek-e-Insaf’s chairman Imran Khan is the candidate for the slot of Prime Minister against the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz’s President Shehbaz Sharif.

Today at 3:30 pm, the elected MNA’s will vote for the leader of the house. Earlier, MNA-elect took oath on August 13 and elected the speaker and deputy speaker on August 15, respectively.

PTI has emerged as the biggest party in the country after the July 25 elections, putting it in the pole position to forge coalition with few small parties to form the next government. Besides, on August 06, PTI’s parliamentary committee members had also unanimously elected 65-year-old former cricketer Imran Khan for the coveted position.

The results of the by-elections will be hugely important in this regard. It may lift Khan’s position, but, he will remain at the mercy of his allied parties to hold a simple majority.

While, on the other hand, the 67-year-old Shehbaz Sharif was declared a nominee from Grand Opposition Alliance after series of All Parties Conferences. But, later, PPP took a U-turn on its agreement with three main opposition parties– the PML-N, PPPP and the MMA and has withdrawn its support for Shehbaz.

During the election of Speaker National Assembly, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had made it clear, while, talking with the media that PPP will not vote for Shehbaz. Some contradictory statements were published later, where some leaders termed it Bilawal’s personal opinion.

However, it looks increasingly certain that PPP will not vote for Shehbaz, unless, PML-N does not bring forward another leader with consensus from within its ranks.

Read more: Pakistan’s Foreign Policy at Crossroad: Imran Khan shows support for Turkey…

According to some sources, PML-N had lobbied with former PM Yousaf Raza Gillani to help Shehbaz in this regard, in an exchange with the backing in the upcoming presidential elections in September. PML-N assured Gillani of its support in electing him President of Pakistan.

PPP leadership did not appreciate the idea. It has apparently withdrawn its support for Shehbaz because of his past mudslinging against the PPP’s chairman Asif Ali Zardari. This situation has reduced the chances of Shehbaz to upset Khan in today’s prime ministerial elections.

The parliament is all set to choose its 22nd leader today [August 17]. Pakistan Tehrek-e-Insaf’s chairman Imran Khan is the candidate for the slot of Prime Minister against the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz’s President Shehbaz Sharif.  

Khan is already in commanding position to win the elections. Even some doubts surrounding his chances were cleared after the win of Asad Qaiser (176) in secret ballot on August 15. PTI had secured 116 NA seats in the general elections. It was, subsequently, allotted additional minority and women’s seats.

Read more: Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut weighs in on Imran Khan becoming PM

Moreover, 9 independent candidates also joined the party. Altogether, PTI should have 158 seats. But Imran vacated 4 seats and Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Tahir Sadiq had to leave one seat each, reducing Khan’s tally by six.  Nevertheless, PTI remains the majority party in the National Assembly, boasting a total of 151 seats.

In coalition with its allies MQM, PMLQ, BAP, BNP, GDA, and JWP; PTI has the majority with at least 175 seats. PTI’s spokesperson Fawad Chaudhary had earlier claimed that party has reached the figure of 180 and Khan will be elected the premier within the first round of votes in the lower house.

According to some sources, PML-N had lobbied with former PM Yousaf Raza Gillani to help Shehbaz in this regard, in an exchange with the backing in the upcoming presidential elections in September.

The PML-N with the figure of 81 is the second-largest party in the assembly, followed by PPP at 54. Overall, the Grand opposition alliance of PPP, PMLN, MMA, and ANP together have 151 seats.

Read more: It’s Imran Khan’s turn in the barrel

PPP has already backed off from supporting PML-N, and the Jamaat-e-Islami, which is part of the MMA, has also announced that it will not vote in the election. After the 22-years epic struggle, Imran Khan Looks certain to win today’s elections.  He will easily reach the required 172 mark—which is more than the 50% of the total 330 MNA’s sworn in on August 13 and 15, respectively.

Imran has been successful in breaking the status quo in the country but his coalition government would be walking on eggshells. It would be very difficult for Khan to hold on to this fragile majority and would be open to threats from his coalition partners. The results of the by-elections will be hugely important in this regard. It may lift Khan’s position, but, he will remain at the mercy of his allied parties to hold a simple majority.


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