ISLAMABAD: The newly-elected members of the National Assembly are set to decide today (Friday) through a vote whether Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairperson Imran Khan or Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif enters the prime minister office as Pakistan’s 22nd premier.
The PTI, which emerged as the leading party in the July 25 general election, appears to be in a comfortable position to elect its chairman as the next prime minister. A simple majority of votes from the total strength of the house is required for the election of prime minister.
After distribution of reserved seats for women and minorities, the PTI remains the majority party in the National Assembly, boasting a total of 151 seats. It commands the support of at least 175 lawmakers, more than 50% of the total 330 MNAs sworn in, and is expected to dominate the election if its lawmakers and all its allied parties vote for Khan.
The PTI has an overwhelming support from three members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q), seven of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), five of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), four of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M), three lawmakers of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), and one member each from the Awami Muslim League (AML) and Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP).
On Wednesday, PTI leader Asad Qaiser received 176 votes in the election for the speaker of the National Assembly.
The PML-N is the second-largest party in the assembly, with 81 members to its name, followed by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), at 54.
Sharif, the PML-N president, lost some of his support as the PPP announced its decision to not vote for him in the prime minister’s election. It is, however, unclear if the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and Awami National Party (ANP) would continue to extend their support to him.
On the other hand, the Jamaat-e-Islami, which is part of the MMA, has announced that it will not vote in the election.