Published: Fri, August 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Imran Khan defeats Shahbaz to become Pakistan’s new Prime Minister

Imran Khan defeats Shahbaz to become Pakistan’s new Prime Minister

Mr Khan received 176 votes in the 342-seat National Assembly, said the speaker of the parliament, Asad Qaiser.

Analysts say, as prime minister, Khan would be tested on several fronts, from dealing with an urgent foreign currency shortage to managing a tense relationship with the United States.

Cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), speaks after voting in the general election in Islamabad July 25, 2018.

In a televised speech shortly after the July 25 elections, Imran Khan vowed to work for the poorest of poor and called for dialogue with India. His only rival, Shahbaz Sharif of the ousted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), won 96 votes, Qaiser said, with some opposition parties including the third-largest Pakistan People s Party (PPP) abstaining from the vote.

The swearing-in ceremony will take place on Saturday (August 18).

Imran Khan scraped together a simple majority in a confidence vote held in the lower house of parliament, three weeks after an election tainted by claims of military meddling and ballot rigging.

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His mandate as leader will last five years.

Some, however, congratulated the ruling party with a hint of jealousy.

The party has already formed a government in its stronghold of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and an alliance with regional parties in the southwestern province of Balochistan.

Talking about the qualities of Mr Khan, the former cricketer said: "I have seen Khan converting his weaknesses into his strength".

He will face myriad challenges including militant extremism, water shortages, and a booming population negating growth in the developing country, among others.

He will also have to contend with the same issue as many of his predecessors: how to maintain a balance of power in civil-military relations.

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