Shehbaz Sharif sworn in as Pakistan’s 24th Prime Minister


PTI, Mar 4, 2024, 4:00 PM IST

Shehbaz Sharif was on Monday sworn in as Pakistan’s 24th Prime Minister, taking over the reins of the cash-strapped country for a second time since 2022, amidst staggering economic and security challenges.

President Arif Alvi administered the oath to the 72-year-old Shehbaz in a ceremony held at the Aiwan-i-Sadr, the presidential residence. The oath-taking ceremony comes days after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan Peoples Party agreed on a power-sharing deal to form a coalition government.

Shehbaz earlier served as prime minister of a coalition government from April 2022 to August 2023 before Parliament was dissolved to hold general elections last month.

The ceremony was attended by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz and other PML-N workers. PPP leader and Sindh chief minister Murad Ali Shah was also present on the occasion.

On Sunday, Shehbaz comfortably won a majority in the newly-elected Parliament amidst sloganeering by the Opposition.

Shehbaz, the consensus candidate of the PML-N and the PPP, received 201 votes in the 336-member Parliament. His challenger Omar Ayub Khan of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) secured 92 votes.

In the February 8 polls, marred by allegations of vote rigging, the Sharifs-led party failed to garner a clear majority, albeit technically, it is the largest party with 75 out of the 265 contested seats.

The new leader should make difficult decisions to undertake to reform the economy of the cash-strapped country and administration.

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