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Imran Khan to be voted today as PM

17 August, 2018

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Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf emerged as the biggest parliamentary party in the wake of the July 25 polls, its candidate Imran Khan is considered the clear favourite for the post.

Khan has been the PTI's unanimous choice for the PM's job, especially after all 120 of the party's parliamentary committee members rubber-stamped his candidacy for the post.

Although the clear favourite, however, Khan is unlikely to prise away the premiership without a fight.

The PTI had, on its own, bagged 116 NA seats in the polls before recruiting nine additional independents, which took its tally to 125.

The party were subsequently allotted 33 reserved seats by the Election Commission of Pakistan last week, which sent its tally to 158.

However, that tally has since been trimmed as Khan, a winner on five NA seats, kept only his Mianwali seat and vacated the other four. Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Tahir Sadiq also had to leave one of the two NA seats they had bagged each, cutting PTI's lead by six.

PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry had earlier claimed that his party, with the help of its allies, has garnered the support of 180 plus NA members — at least eight more than required for a simple majority and enough to get Khan elected PM in the first poll.

However, PML-Q, a key PTI ally, has also seen its quartet of NA seats reduced by half as their party leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi — a candidate for the Speaker of Punjab Assembly — also vacated both his seats in the lower house of the parliament.

The aforesaid seat vacations mean that Chaudhry's claim could be put to the test today.

The PTI's perceived struggle in establishing its dominance had offered a glimmer of hope to Shahbaz Sharif — the opposition's joint candidate for the PM's gig.

The decision to nominate him was made as part of an agreement between the three main opposition parties — the PML-N, PPP and the MMA-P — during an All Parties Conference.

However, less than 24 hours before the election, PPP decided to “abstain” from today’s vote due to refusal of the PML-N to replace its candidate, making the contest a one-sided affair.

The eleventh-hour rift and retraction further dented whatever chance the joint opposition had against Khan today.

The prime minister is elected by Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) in accordance with the Second Schedule of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007.

To be a candidate for prime minister, one has to be an MNA. As the first step, the candidate has to be proposed for the position of prime minister by any fellow MNA. The nomination then has to be seconded by any another lawmaker. The candidate thus has to have a proposer and a seconder.

Since Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, the head of government also has to be of Muslim faith.

The nomination papers have to be filed to the Secretary the day before the session, by 2pm. The nomination is assessed by the Speaker of the National Assembly on the same day, by 3pm.

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