Home LATEST NEWS Shehbaz Sharif elected Prime Minister of Pakistan

Shehbaz Sharif elected Prime Minister of Pakistan

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Leader of the Muslim League of Pakistan (PML-N), Mr. Sharif, aged 70 and younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, who was three times Prime Minister, won 174 votes in an Assembly which has 342 seats.

He succeeds at the head of this Islamic republic of 220 million inhabitants equipped with nuclear weapons to Mr. Khan, 69, who was overthrown on Sunday by a motion of censure, a first in the history of the country.

The session was boycotted by the vast majority of MPs from Mr. Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI, Pakistan Justice Movement), who also announced their resignation from the Assembly, at the like the former prime minister.

It’s the victory of righteousness and evil has been defeatedwelcomed the new head of government, who immediately announced several measures intended to satisfy the population, such as raising the minimum wage to 25,000 rupees (C$171) per month, salary increases for civil servants and plans for development in rural areas.

Mr. Sharif has received the support of a heterogeneous coalition, which notably includes the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, son of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, assassinated in 2007, and the small conservative religious party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) by Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

The PML-N and the PPP, two parties based on family dynasties, dominated national political life for decades, sharing power in periods when the country, independent since 1947, was not under military rule. .

Fragile Alliance

It therefore remains to be seen how these two long-rivaled formations, which had joined forces for the sole purpose of bringing down Imran Khan, will manage to govern together.

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History shows that there is no ideological convergence between them, warned ex-foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who was the PTI candidate for prime minister, but got no votes. He denounced a illegitimate processbefore leaving the room with his comrades before the vote.

Shehbaz Sharif is seen as less charismatic than his brother Nawaz, but also less rigid and more likely to make the compromises necessary to stay in power.

He was the opposition leader most acceptable to the army, which remains the key to political power in this country having spent more than three decades under his leadership.

Like Nawaz, deposed in 2017 for alleged corruption and imprisoned, then released two years later on medical grounds and who has since lived in exile in the United Kingdom, Shehbaz Sharif has been linked to corruption cases. He was arrested and jailed in September 2020, but released on bail almost six months later. His trial is still pending.

The PML-N accuses the military of bringing down the Nawaz government by pressuring the judiciary, and Imran Khan, who was reportedly brought to power in 2018 with the support of the military, of continuing this vendetta in against Shehbaz.

Difficult economic situation

The future prime minister will have to maintain the cohesion of his camp, but also deal with the country’s difficult economic situation, with high inflation, a constantly depreciating rupee – even if it recovered on Monday, like the stock market which experienced a all-time high in one day – and growing debt.

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The deterioration of security, with the increase in attacks carried out by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Pakistani Taliban, will also be one of its main concerns.

Imran Khan, who has done everything to cling to power, even if it means accentuating the polarization of Pakistani society, should remain a thorn in the side of the new government.

Imran Khan in 2019.

Imran Khan is the first Pakistani Prime Minister to lose his post due to a vote of no confidence.

Photo: Getty Images

He kept calling himself the victim of a diet change orchestrated by the United States because of its criticism of American policy in Iraq or Afghanistan, with the complicity of the opposition.

Mr. Khan, who intends to mobilize the streets to obtain early elections, promised last week never to accept this imported government.

Shehbaz Sharif pledged on Monday to open a parliamentary inquiry into the allegations and resign immediately if an ounce of evidence is produced against his coalition.

He also said he wanted improve relations with Washington, while ensuring that no one could harm to the friendship between Pakistan and China.

Many Pakistanis, who in 2018 gave their vote to Mr. Khan for his denunciation of the corruption of the elites symbolized by the PML-N and the PPP, remain sensitive to this speech and are worried about the return to favor of these two parties. .

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