Parliament chooses the prime minister today

National assembly

As Pakistan’s newly elected parliament convenes once again, all eyes turn to the potential contenders for the prime ministerial position. While the PMLN-PPP coalition, led by ex-PM Shehbaz Sharif, appears to be in a strong position, independent candidates supported by Imran Khan’s PTI are aiming to shake up the status quo.

The question on everyone’s lips is: Who will lead Pakistan next? This query looms large as the country’s parliament gathers after the controversial February 8 elections, tainted by widespread allegations of electoral malpractice.

Nomination papers of PM’s candidates accepted

The election results delivered a fractured mandate, with independent candidates, backed by the incarcerated former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) each failing to secure enough votes for a simple majority government.

With the PMLN and PPP forming a coalition government, the spotlight now shifts to their choice for prime minister. Shehbaz Sharif, younger brother of three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, emerges as the frontrunner for the position. However, independent legislator supported by the PTI Omar Ayub Khan is also making a bid for leadership.

As the National Assembly convenes, the deadlock over nominated members adds further complexity. The distribution of reserved seats crucial for consolidating power, including those for Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) – PTI’s ally for government – remains uncertain, with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) yet to make key decisions.

Shehbaz Sharif, a seasoned politician with a reputation for effective governance, appears poised to assume the mantle of prime minister. His tenure as Chief Minister of Punjab showcased his administrative prowess, positioning him as a formidable contender for federal leadership.

In contrast, Omar Ayub Khan, hailing from a prominent political dynasty, represents a challenge to the established order.

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Experts are of the opinion that Shehbaz Sharif’s legacy will be determined on how successfully he can foster unity and cooperation across party lines and address economic challenges. On the other hand, Omar’s nomination brings a symbolic shift towards a more confrontational stance against entrenched power structures.

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