The lawmakers of Pakistan have elected Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party’s candidate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as their 29th Prime Minister with a majority of 221 votes.
With clear edge of victory due to heavy majority of the ruling party PML-N, Shahid Abbasi, a Sharif loyalist sent his papers for nomination of the interim Prime Minister election, to replace former PM Nawaz Sharif. From among all six candidates who filed for the interim leader post, Abbasi, the petroleum minister of Pakistan enjoyed majority in National Assembly and will play the role of a caretaker until Sharif’s brother Shehbaz Sharif, can take over.
Abbasi, as an individual, has played major role in Pakistani politics and has remained pretty much unbeatable throughout his career. The only election Abbasi lost was against PPP candidate Ghulam Murtaza Satti in 2002, but apart from that, he has won every election he participated in 1988 till 2017. In the election yesterday, Abbasi scored 221 votes, Syed Naveed Qamar got 47 votes, 33 members voted for Sheikh Rashid while Sahibzada Tariqullah was able to secure 4 votes.
PML-N promises and foresees smooth transition from Nawaz Sharif to Shahid Abbasi and then pass it on to Shahbaz Sarif in the election which is scheduled to be held within two months. Such a strategic handover contrasts Pakistan’s political history and Shahbaz’s ruling will prove to be great for Pakistan’s powerful military, with whom Shahbaz has been more conciliatory than his brother. Shahbaz, who is currently the CM of Punjab province has won many admirers in Lahore with his peppered style of handling ministers and officials – for example using Whatsapp to convey messages in the dead of night and keeps everyone on the toes all the time. Shahbaz’s victory is almost inevitable – thanks to PML-N’s hefty majority and Pakistani dynastic politic system.