Rivals of Pakistan ex-premier Khan name Shehbaz Sharif as joint candidate for PM

20 February 2024, 21:34

Shehbaz Sharif
Pakistan Election. Picture: PA

Mr Sharif, the brother of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, is himself a former prime minister.

The political rivals of Pakistan’s imprisoned former prime minister Imran Khan have announced details of a powersharing agreement, naming Shehbaz Sharif as their joint candidate for prime minister.

The much-awaited announcement followed days of talks among the leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML), the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), and other parties who did not gain enough seats in the February 8 vote to govern on their own.

Candidates aligned with Khan won the most seats in the parliamentary elections but also did not win enough of them to form a government.

Mr Sharif, the brother of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, is himself a former prime minister, who replaced Khan when he was ousted through a no-confidence vote in parliament in 2022.

A supporter walks past a poster of imprisoned former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan
A supporter walks past a poster of imprisoned former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan (Anjum Naveed/AP)

Since then, Khan has been convicted of several offences in what his supporters call politically motivated moves to keep him out of office.

Khan’s rivals said at a late-night news conference of party leaders that they had secured the required majority of votes to form a coalition government.

The parliament will elect Shehbaz Sharif of the PML as the new prime minister when the inaugural session of the National Assembly is convened later this month, the party leaders said.

They also said the country’s former president Asif Ali Zardari of the PPP will be the joint candidate for the office of the president when the new parliament and all the four provincial legislatures elect the successor of the outgoing President Arif Ali in the coming weeks.

Hours earlier on Tuesday, Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party asked for the resignation of the head of Pakistan’s Election Commission, Sikandar Sultan Raja, for allegedly failing to conduct the elections in a free and fair manner.

Khan’s party claims the victories of dozens of its candidates were converted into defeat, a claim the elections oversight body denies.

Though Khan’s candidates won 93 out of 265 National Assembly seats in the elections, it was not enough to form a government.

Mr Sharif’s PML and Mr Zardari’s PPP won 75 and 54 seats respectively.

Khan is currently serving multiple prison terms after being sentenced to a total of 31 years in prison on charges of corruption, revealing official secrets and marriage law violations in late January and early February during trials at a prison in Rawalpindi.

The surprisingly strong showing for Khan’s party in the recent elections were a shock for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who had earlier been marked out as the powerful security establishment’s preferred candidate.

Shehbaz Sharif, his younger brother, thanked his allies for agreeing to choose him as their joint candidate for prime minister.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

The Israeli Iron Dome air defence system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran

Israel hails ‘success’ in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack

Joe Biden has reaffirmed the US's commitment to defending Israel's security.

Biden reaffirms ‘ironclad commitment’ to Israel as he plans G7 meeting to coordinate ‘diplomatic response to Iran attack’

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

‘Together we will win’: Netanyahu vows to fight off attacks from Iran after over 300 drones and missiles fired at Israel

Israeli's military have fought off a massive Iranian drone and missile attack - downing more than 200 weapons launched by the hostile state with the help of ace RAF pilots.

Israel fights off massive Iran attack - downing over 200 missiles and drones with help of RAF

Plans have been drawn up for an evacuation of Brits from the Middle East. Defence Secretary Grant Shapps (l) and protesters outside the British Embassy in Tehran (r)

Brits living in the Middle East could be rescued by the Royal Marines in 'Dunkirk-style' evacuation

The knifeman who killed six people in a rampage at a Sydney shopping centre has been named as 40-year-old Joel Cauchi (left)

Pictured: Sydney knifeman, 40, who killed six people before being shot dead by brave policewoman

Iranian drones and missiles have arrived in Israel with explosions in the skies - as officials warn of a "significant response" to the massive attack.

Explosions in skies and sirens across Jerusalem amid Iranian attack - as Israel warns of 'significant response'

USS Bataan which is heading to the Eastern Mediterranean (main) and Joe Biden (r)

US sends amphibious warship and 2,500 Marines into the Eastern Mediterranean after Iran attacks Israel

US and UK forces are helping defend Israel from Iranian drones and missiles after a massive attack was launched.

British and American jets 'shoot down Iranian drones' as Rishi Sunak slams Iran for 'reckless' attack against Israel

President Biden is holding an emergency national security meeting as the US prepares its response to Iran's drone and missile attack on Israel.

President Biden holds high-stakes emergency meeting as Iran launches full-scale attack on Israel

Iron Dome Rocket Interceptions of Hamas Rockets- Southern Israel- Night Attack On Ashdod City

Israel closes airspace as it braces for Iranian drone attack

Iranian attack drones are 'en route to Israel', according to an Israeli Defence Force spokesperson.

Iran launches massive drone and missile attack on Israel as war in Middle East escalates

A mother who was stabbed while trying to defend her baby from the Sydney shopping centre knifeman has been pictured for the first time.

Pictured: Mother, 38, killed defending her baby from Sydney shopping centre massacre

Election 2024 Decision Notes Alaska Wyoming

Biden wins Wyoming’s caucuses as eyes turn to Alaskan democrats

Hormuz incident

Iranian forces seize container ship near Strait of Hormuz

Russia Ukraine

Ukraine military chief warns of ‘significantly’ worsening battlefield situation