Pakistan elects Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as interim prime minister
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the nominee of PML-N, has been elected Prime Minister of Pakistan after bagging with 221 votes from the 342-member National Assembly. He will be sworn-in by the president later.
The NA session was called by President Mamnoon Hussain following a landmark Supreme Court ruling on the Panama Papers case in which Nawaz Sharif was disqualified as PM.
The opposition party candidates Naveed Qamar secured 47 votes, Sheikh Rasheed 33 votes, while Tariqullah only 4 votes.
In his acceptance speech, the new PM said: “I am grateful to the people of Pakistan, and I am grateful to the ‘people’s prime minister’, Nawaz Sharif.”
“An unprecedented decision was taken last Friday. We accepted it as it was. We did not challenge the courts, there was no division in our ranks,” Abbasi said in his acceptance speech.
Abbasi is currently facing a Rs220 billion corruption inquiry being carried out by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He is a principal accused in a NAB case registered in 2015 regarding award of a liquefied natural gas import contract with Qatar.
Who is Shahid Khaqan Abbasi?
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the former federal minister for petroleum and natural resource, is the new Prime Minister of Pakistan.
He is the owner of private airlines AirBlue and also served as the chairman of PIA when Nawaz Sharif’s government was dismissed by Gen. (r) Pervez Musharraf in 1999. Abbasi was jailed by Musharraf administrator for two years when in 2001 he was acquitted.
Khaqan Abbasi was born on 27th December 1958. His political career began in 1988, when he was elected as the Member of the National Assembly in the general elections of 1988 after the death of his father Khaqan Abbasi.
He has been an elected Member of the National Assembly since 1988 from Rawalpindi losing only once in 2002 to a PPP candidate.