PTI Chief Imran Khan has been elected the prime minister of Pakistan, marking the highlight of his 22-year-long political career.
Khan won with 176 seats while his opponent, PML-N’s Shahbaz Sharif, secured 96 votes in the polling that took place in the National Assembly on Friday.
As the newly elected speaker of the assembly, Asad Qaiser, announced the results, the House erupted with chants of “na manzoor” [unacceptable] and “Wazir-e-azam Nawaz Sharif” [PM Nawaz Sharif]. The protests by PML-N leaders continued as the speaker tried to restore order in the House.
Khan, in the meantime, sat smiling in his seat, accepting congratulations by his party members.
The speaker then suspended the proceedings of the National Assembly for 15 minutes due to the persistent sloganeering of PML-N legislators. Announcing the suspension of proceedings, Assembly Speaker Qaiser asked parliamentary leaders to come to his chamber.
“I promise my nation today that we will bring the tabdeeli [change] that this nation was starving for,” said Khan with headphones in his ears. “We have to hold strict accountability in this country; the people who looted this country, I promise that I will work against them.”
“I did not climb on any dictator’s shoulders; I reached this place after struggling for 22 years. Only one leader struggled more than me and that was my hero, Jinnah. Twice every month I will answer to the people in the Q/A session in assembly.”
“The money that was laundered, I will bring it back — the money that should have gone towards health, education, and water, went into people’s pockets,” said a charged Khan, moving on to allegations of vote rigging. “I want to ask the people who are yelling here why they didn’t investigate the four constituencies that I asked for.”
“Why didn’t they investigate then? Why didn’t they hold people accountable? Why didn’t the [PML-N] government take action?”
“When I was asking for investigation, these people accused me of being a planted by the establishment,” Khan continued.
Earlier, PPP left the House sans participating in the voting process.
Khan’s oath-taking ceremony will take place tomorrow. The former cricketer was tipped as the ‘PM-in-waiting’ soon after the July 25 polls in which PTI won more seats than other political parties.
The newly elected members of the National Assembly finished casting their votes for the two contenders in the running for the premier post: Imran Khan and Shahbaz Sharif.
According to DawnNewsTV, PML-N leader and former assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq had made a last-minute attempt to convince PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari ─ whose party earlier announced it would abstain from voting ─ to support Shahbaz Sharif while voting was going on.