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Imran Khan elected 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was elected as the 22nd Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Friday, ARY News reported.

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser announced the results declaring Imran Khan as the Leader of the House. Imran Khan received 176 votes, while his opponent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif received 96 votes.

The newly-elected members of the National Assembly cast their votes for the two contenders in the running for the post. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Jamaat-e-Islami abstained from voting.

The announcement was met by chants and protests by PML-N members as the speaker tried to restore order in the house. Imran Khan sat smiling in his seat and accepted congratulations by party members.

Khan, clad in a waistcoat and traditional white shalwar kameez garments, smiled broadly and could be seen wiping tears from his eyes while clutching prayer beads as the count was announced.

He had appeared relaxed before the vote, smiling and shaking hands with other parliamentarians, including Shehbaz Sharif.

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For the cricket legend-turned-politician, his party’s first place in a national election and becoming country’s prime minister, is the culmination of a battle that started more than two decades ago.

For years, he was dismissed as a political dilettante who could not convert his personal popularity into significant seats in parliament for the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

Imran Khan

But July 25 elections dramatically changed that, putting the former sports star on the brink of power. The PTI party won the most seats in July’s elections – setting up Mr Khan to become PM with the help of small parties, more than two decades after he first entered politics.

Khan will be sworn in on Saturday at a ceremony held at the President House at 9.30AM.

Live Updates

5:38pm: Imran Khan has been elected as the Leader of the House and will be the next prime minister of Pakistan. Speaker Asad Qaiser announced the results. Imran Khan received 176 votes, while Shehbaz Sharif received 96 votes.

5:30pm: The voting has ended. The supporters for Imran Khan voted in ‘Lobby A’ while the supporters for Shehbaz Sharif voted in ‘Lobby B’. The parliamentarians have returned to the main hall to their respective seats. The counting is underway and will be announced soon.

4:53pm: The voting process starts. Two Lobbies of the house have been designated with the name of two contestants. The speaker instructed the MNAs who wish to vote for Imran Khan to  proceed to a particular lobby while those wanting to vote for Shehbaz Sharif to another lobby.

The MNAs belonging to the PPP and Jamaat-e-Islami didn’t proceed to any lobby and opted to abstain from the voting.

4:47pm: The speaker explained to the house the procedure of the election for the leader of the house. He ordered to vacate the lobbies so that the voting process could begin.

He further ordered that bells be rung outside the house for the attention of the MNAs so that they could enter the house after which all its door will be closed.

4:30pm: PML-N MNA Murtaza Javed Abbasi, while speaking on the floor of the assembly, said the dignity of the august house was being destroyed by sloganeering.

4:35pm: Speaker Asad Qaiser instructed guests sitting in the gallery not to chant slogans in order to upheld the dignity of the house.

4:24pm: The National Assembly session summoned to elect new leader of the house has begun with Speaker Asad Qaiser in the chair. The session begun with recitation from Holy Quran.

It started about an hour late than its scheduled time.

4:21pm: PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif and other party MNAs have arrived in the parliament. Shehbaz shook hands with his arch-rival Imran Khan before taking his seat.

3:39pm: PTI chief Imran Khan and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari have arrived in the house.

3:26pm: PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal, while speaking to reporters at the parliament, said his party members voted for the combined opposition’s candidates for the slot of speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly.

He said he hoped the parties part of the opposition alliance will reciprocate in the same manner by voting for Shehbaz Sharif.

3:13pm: A consultative meeting of the PTI parliamentary party with party chief Imran Khan in the chair has concluded.

2:55pm: PTI MNA Ali Zaidi has expressed the hope that the party chief will win the election for the PM office with a convincing lead. He hoped that Mr Khan will fulfill the promises he has made to the people of Pakistan.

2:39pm: PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif has arrived at the assembly building. He is chairing a meeting of the parliamentary party to discuss strategy ahead of the election for the  premier’s office.

When a reporter questioned him about whether PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his party will vote for him, he asked the reporter to put this question to the PPP leaders instead.

2:30pm: The PTI chief has arrived at the parliament to hold last-minute consultations with party leaders before the crucial National Assembly session which is scheduled to start at 3:30 pm.

A day earlier, the PPP decided in principle to stay away from today’s vote in the lower house of parliament after the PML-N’s refusal to change its candidate for the slot.

PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry had said that the party chief is in a comfortable position to clinch the coveted post by bagging over 180 votes.

The party’s tally in the National Assembly is 152 which climbs to 183 after addition of its small coalition partners, including Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).

The PML-N has 82 members in the house, followed by the PPP with 53 lawmakers, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) 15 members, and the Awami National Party (ANP) one MNA.

How leader of the house is elected?

According to the rules of business of the National Assembly, leader of the house, who automatically becomes prime minister, is elected by the division of the house. Lobbies will be designated with the name of each candidate.

Those who wish to vote for a particular candidate will proceed to that lobby designated with his or her name.

Before voting begins, bells will be rung outside the house for the attention of members. This will happen for five minutes after which the doors of the house are shut for the PM’s election.

The speaker shall read out the resolution before the house and ask the MNAs to proceed to a certain lobby where tellers shall be posted to count votes.

After a member casts his vote, he is not required to return to the chamber until bells are rung. When the speaker will find that all the MNAs have recorded their votes, he shall announce conclusion of the voting.

Then, the bells will be rung for two minutes for the members to return to the chamber after which the speaker will announce the results.

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