Pakistan elects Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as new prime minister
Abbasi was elected with 221 votes from the 342-member National Assembly. He will be sworn-in by the president later.
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The ruling party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has nominated former petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to serve as interim leader. He takes on a caretaker role until Nawaz Sharif's brother, Shehbaz Sharif, can take over.
Shehbaz is chief minister of Punjab province and must win a parliamentary by-election from NA-120 to be eligible for PM. He is to contest the parliamentary seat left vacant by his ousted brother but that process is expected to take at least 45 days.
Five candidates other than Abbasi were in the fray to contest the election at the specially convened session of the house on Tuesday afternoon.
They included PPP’s Syed Naveed Qamar, PTI-nominated Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, and Jamaat-e-Islami’s Sahibzada Tariqullah.
Naveed Qamar secured 47 votes, Sheikh Rasheed 33 votes, while Tariqullah only 4 votes.
Opposition parties met in Islamabad on Monday before filing of the nomination papers to agree on a consensus candidate but failed to make a breakthrough.
Addressing his first NA session as the PM, Abbasi announced to go after tax evaders while stressing on improvement in the country's economy.
Abbasi, 58, has remained mostly unbeaten in his political career, having only lost to PPP candidate Ghulam Murtaza Satti in 2002. However, aside from that particular contest, he has won every election he has contested in from 1988 till 2013.
Abbasi has represented Rawalpindi since first being elected a member of the National Assembly in 1988. He was elected after the death of his father, Khaqan Abbasi - the then minister of production.
He was elected as member of the National Assembly in the 1990 general elections for the second time and made parliamentary secretary for defence.
Abbasi was elected again, for the fourth time, in 1997, and served as Chairman of Pakistan International Airlines from 1997 to 1999 in Nawaz Sharif’s second term.
The interim prime minister-designate briefly held the positions of Minister for Commerce and Ministry of Defense Production in Yousuf Raza Gilani’s government in 2008.
He is currently facing a Rs220 billion corruption inquiry being carried out by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He is a principal accused in a NAB case registered in 2015 regarding award of a liquefied natural gas import contract.
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