Shehbaz Sharif wins second term as Pakistan PM

Pakistan’s newly formed parliament has elected Shehbaz Sharif as prime minister for a second term.

He defeated a rival supported by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The move comes three weeks after an inconclusive general election that was marred by allegations of intimidation and vote-rigging.

Mr Sharif’s PML-N party came second in the poll. Independent candidates backed by Mr Khan’s PTI won the most seats but failed to get a majority.

On Sunday, National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq announced that Mr Sharif had secured 201 parliamentary votes. He needed 169 to be elected prime minister.

His rival Omar Ayub, who was supported by Mr Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, won 92 votes.

In his victory speech, Mr Sharif said that as no side had a clear parliamentary majority, it was “the democratic way” that “like-minded parties may form a coalition government”.

Following last month’s election, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) – headed by Nawaz Sharif, a former prime minister who is Shehbaz Sharif’s brother – reached a coalition deal with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

In 2022 the two parties, which have traditionally been rivals, joined forces to oust Imran Khan as prime minister and install Mr Sharif as his successor.

After the assembly was dissolved last August, Pakistan was led by a caretaker government.

Imran Khan was jailed in the run-up to the 6 February election and barred from standing.

He faces more than 150 criminal and civil charges – all of which he denies – as the authorities launched a crackdown on his party.

PTI candidates were forced to run as independents but won more seats than any other party.

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