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Imran Khan sworn in as 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan

Imran Khan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former cricketer, was sworn in as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan on August 18, 2018. The oath-taking ceremony was administered by President Mamnoon Hussain at the President House in Islamabad.

Khan’s PTI party had won the general elections conducted in the nation in July 2018. However, his party had fallen short of getting full majority but it managed to scrape through a simple majority in the Pakistan parliament's confidence vote, which was conducted on August 17.

Khan secured 176 votes, just four more than the needed 172 for a majority, beating  Shehbaz Sharif, president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, who got 96.

Key Highlights

Khan, a long-time opposition politician, will be taking the reign of power for the first time in his 22-year-old political career.

He has led a strenuous campaign against corruption and government mismanagement since he retired as one of Pakistan's most popular cricketers in 1992.

Khan had famously captained Pakistan’s national cricket team to World Cup glory in 1992.

Many of Khan’s former teammates and contemporaries including Navjot Singh Sidhu and Wasim Akram were invited for the swearing-in ceremony.

Other guests included Javed Sheikh, Punjab governor designate Chaudhry Sarwar and Ramiz Raja.

Khan’s next step after being sworn in would be to form a cabinet and assume control of the government.

Significance

Pakistan's powerful military has ruled the country through various coups for nearly half of the country's history since independence in 1947.

Khan's government will be the third consecutive democratic government in Pakistan since 2008 when military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf announced elections after serving as president from 2001 to 2008 following a bloodless coup in 1999.

The Pakistan People’s Party had formed the government in 2008, followed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz led by jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 2013.

Election Controversy

The PTI's election victory has been marred by widespread allegations of irregularities in the vote counting process.

The opposition parties including the PML-N and PPP claim that the country's military, which has ruled Pakistan for roughly half of its 71-year-old history, influenced the voters to vote for PTI in the run-up to the polls.

The military, however, denies having any role in the elections.

Pakistan Elections 2018

The election in the 15th National Assembly was held on July 25 and results were declared on July 29 in which Imran Khan’s PTI emerged as the largest party in the National Assembly by securing 116 seats.

While former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) bagged 64 seats and former President Asif Ali Zardari's Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) got 43 seats.

Though PTI has emerged as the single largest party in the National Assembly, the party did not have the majority to form the government, as a total of 172 votes were needed for that in the 342-member lower house of Parliament.

On August 17, of the total National Assembly members, 176 voted in favour of Khan, while his opponent, Shahbaz received 96 votes.
 

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