Status: 04/11/2022 7:09 p.m.
Pakistan elected Shehbaz Sharif as its new prime minister after a vote of no confidence in Khan’s predecessor. The opposition celebrates its return. But the new head of government faces major challenges.
Pakistani opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif was elected prime minister after the no-confidence vote against Imran Khan. 174 out of 374 MPs voted for Sharif, as parliament speaker Ayaz Sadiq announced in the capital, Islamabad.
Opposition leader Sharif elected new Prime Minister of Pakistan
tagesschau24 4:00 PM, April 11, 2022
After the election, Sharif described the country’s economic problems as the biggest challenge. “We will have to shed sweat and blood” to revive the economy, he said.
Tens of thousands took to the streets
Overnight, tens of thousands of people across the country protested against the dismissal of former cricket star Khan. Khan’s ruling PTI party announced a mass resignation from parliament ahead of the election. Dozens of MPs left the room in protest.
Khan was removed from office by a vote of no confidence on Sunday evening. This was preceded by a political crisis in South Asian nuclear power that lasted for days. The former prime minister had come under increasing pressure due to the severe economic crisis the country was going through.
Aged 70, Sharif comes from the political dynasty, a family of prosperous industrialists. In his home country, the populous province of Punjab, Sharif served as prime minister for three terms. After a political hiatus in exile in Saudi Arabia, he returned to politics, first as head of government in Punjab. In 2018, he was elected to the National Assembly, then elected leader of the opposition. He is the President of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N).
The Sharif family has been repeatedly accused of corruption. Sharif has also been arrested and charged several times. After the corruption allegations were not substantiated, he was released again.
Tough times for the new prime minister
Observers see tough times for the new prime minister. Petrol, gas and food prices have recently risen massively for the country’s more than 220 million people.
The parties that elected Sharif also have little in common, observers say. It is therefore debatable whether they can reconcile their individual interests in day-to-day politics in order to lead the country back to calmer waters and govern it effectively. Moreover, Khan wants to continue to be involved politically: he has already called for new demonstrations.