Shehbaz Sharif to be named Pakistan's next PM on Monday
The Imran Khan-led government in Pakistan was ousted from power after losing a much-delayed no-confidence vote early on Sunday. Now, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif—the Leader of the Opposition in Pakistan's National Assembly—is set to become the country's next prime minister. Sharif will reportedly meet with President Arif Alvi on Sunday and the new government's leader will officially be elected on Monday.
- The vote on the no-confidence motion led to Khan's defeat—who lost by 174 votes in favor of the motion in the 342-member house—making him Pakistan's first PM to be removed through a no-trust vote.
- This came after Pakistan's Supreme Court on Thursday overturned the dismissal of the motion by Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri last Sunday and reconstituted the National Assembly terming the actions "unconstitutional."
Minutes before the no-trust vote commenced, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Deputy Speaker Suri had also resigned late on Saturday. Meanwhile, following Khan's ouster, former I&B Minister Fawad Hussain tweeted, "Sad day for Pakistan...return of looters a good man sent home." Former Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari also tweeted, "Sad day for democracy...US regime succeeds aided and abetted by a corrupt political mafia."
Before the no-trust vote, Khan said that the "threat letter" proving the US conspiracy to topple his government would be presented to the Chief Justice. "I will not let the global conspiracy succeed and the threatening letter will be presented to the Chief Justice of Pakistan. The threatening diplomatic cable will also be shared with all political heads," he said, before losing the vote.
PML-N chief Sharif, born in 1951 in Lahore, is the younger brother of former three-time Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif. An alumnus of Government College University, Lahore, he had previously served three terms as the Chief Minister of Pakistan's crucial Punjab province. He was elected the PML-N's President in 2018 and became a Member of the National Assembly for the first time the same year.
Sharif became PML-N's chief without opposition in 2018 after Nawaz was found guilty in the Panama Papers case in 2017. Sharif, too—like his brother—faces corruption accusations and was arrested in 2020 on charges of laundering. But the Opposition's unity against Khan and the military establishment's alleged tacit support to ouster Khan likely worked in Sharif's favor to become the frontrunner for the top post.