After disqualification of former Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif by Supreme Court of Pakistan, the country’s Parliament will elect its 18th Prime Minister today; and six candidates will run for the race of Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Pakistan Parliament will choose their 18th Prime Minister from 6 candidates today, after the former PM Nawaz Sharif was fired with allegations of dishonesty in Panama case. Although 6 candidates have filed for the slot, the ruling coalition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) interim candidate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has the party’s support with more than required number of votes for getting elected. If elected, Abbasi will run the government as interim prime minister until Sharif’s brother Shehbaz is elected as member of parliament to succeed him as his eventual successor.

With the oppositions’ inability to create an alliance and file for joint candidate, five MNAs submitted five separate candidate nominations, but with strong support, Abbasi has the clear edge for victory. Other candidates include Awami Muslim League (AML) leader Sheikh Rashid who is backed by Imran Khan’s party – Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI). The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chose its leaders, Khursheed Shah, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, and Naveed Qamar as their nominations. And finally Kishwar Zehra and Sahibzada Tariqullah of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and the Jamaat-e-Islami respectively too have submitted their papers.

The oppositions have not allied, but even a joint candidate cannot defeat Abbasi as his party enjoys majority in 342-member house. The PML-N and its coalition partners command a 209-seat majority in the assembly. This move will let PML-N transition smoothly with Nawaz Sharif’s loyal Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to be elected prime minister until Shahbaz becomes eligible to take over by winning a parliamentary by-election expected within two months.

The election for the Prime Minister or the new Head of House of Pakistan will be held at 3:00 PM as per the announcement by President Mamnoon Hussain. After the election, new Prime Minister would take oath of his new assignment today at 7:00 pm in the President House. President Mamnoon Hussian would administer oath from the winning candidate and the ceremony will be attended by chief ministers, diplomats, top brass of armed forces, members of parliament, judges, bureaucrats and other dignitaries.

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