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Pakistan's parliament elected Shehbaz Sharif as Prime Minister for the second time


Pakistan's parliament elected Shehbaz Sharif as Prime Minister for the second time, following delays in forming a coalition government after uncertain national elections.

He defeated Omar Ayub, who received 92 votes and had the support of imprisoned former prime minister Imran Khan. Sharif resumed his position in August, when a caretaker administration was imposed after parliament was dissolved in advance of the elections. No party was able to secure enough seats to form the government by itself.

Speaker of the National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq proclaimed that Sharif had won 201 votes, more than the necessary 169 in the house, and that he was now the prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), a group Imran Khan supported, vehemently objected to the proclamation. The MPs yelled chants claiming Sharif had been elected through electoral cheating and demanded Khan's release.

Sharif covered a wide range of subjects in his speech, but he refrained from making any firm policy announcements. These issues included the need for international relations and economic improvements.

Regarding the attempt to rescue Pakistan from several problems, he remarked, "The work is difficult, but it is not impossible."

He extended an invitation to the opposition to discuss bridging policy and political divides.

While Sharif was speaking, SIC persisted in their demonstration, waving posters of Khan and yelling "Mandate thieves."

A mobile internet blackout, violence in the days leading up to the election, arrests, and unusually long results delays tainted the February 8 election, giving rise to allegations of vote rigging.

Nawaz Sharif, the three-time prime minister who led the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party throughout its election campaign, is the elder brother of Shehbaz Sharif. 

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the PML-N decided to create a coalition government, which allowed Shehbaz Sharif to be elected prime minister as his brother stepped down, despite Khan's candidates winning the most seats.

Shabaz Sharif became Pakistan's prime minister without a real election. However, this time, the country won't let him get away with stealing their mandate. Khan's close adviser, Zulfikar Bukhari, told Reuters that "this is only going to make Pakistan nose further economically, causing further deterioration as a nation."

During his previous term, Sharif's administration was able to negotiate a crucial agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), although the process was fraught with difficulties. The agreement's requirements, set to expire in April, have contributed to price increases and increased strain on lower- and middle-class households.

To stabilise the nation's economy and address the growing dissatisfaction over the country's increasing poverty, the incoming administration will need to begin negotiations with the IMF without delay. Additionally, Khan's supporters are likely to continue causing problems for the administration.

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