Imran to contest in 9 assembly seats

The announcement first came from PTI’s official Twitter account, and was later confirmed by the party’s Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry…reports Asian Lite News

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief and ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday announced he will contest bypolls on all the nine vacant Assembly seats after the Election Commission of Pakistan released the schedule for bypolls on Friday.

The announcement first came from PTI’s official Twitter account, and was later confirmed by the party’s Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry while speaking at a press conference, the Dawn reported.

 According to the ARY News, in a meeting with journalists, Imran Khan said, “Elections would be held this year, government parties want to single him out….Would fight against the rulers at every platform.”

“The government alliance’s plans to disqualify him would never be completed,” he said, adding that appointing Sikandar Sultan Raja as the ECP chief was a major mistake.

The former premier added that two foreign countries offered him funding in the past but he refused. Leaders with popular support cannot be eradicated, he added.

Imran Khan’s announcement to contest the bypolls on all nine seats has startled many, with some commentators questioning if the PTI chairman could not find any other suitable candidate and the expenses to be incurred on the subsequent by-elections should Imran Khan win multiple seats and quits all but one.

According to the Dawn, a Representative of Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen) of Pakistan, Mudassir Rizvi said that the Constitution provided for by-elections to be held within a certain time-frame after a seat fell vacant, as well as allowing a candidate to contest on multiple seats but retain just one, in case the nominee wins from multiple constituencies.

“That way our Constitution also allows state funds to be incurred on political ambitions of political leaders and parties. In just one constituency only, the kind of staff required, number of polling stations and booths set up, and at least a couple of thousand election staff involved, the expenses run into millions each time,” he added.

Election Commission of Pakistan on Friday announced that by-elections on nine National Assembly (NA) seats will be held on September 25.

The poll body announced the schedule for the constituencies of NA-22 Mardan, NA-24 Charsadda, NA-31 Peshawar, NA-45 Kurram, NA-108 Faisalabad, NA-118 Nankana Sahib, as well asNA-237 Malir, NA-239 Korangi Karachi and NA-246 Karachi South.

The nine seats are among the 11 vacated after acceptance of resignations of PTI MNAs by the National Assembly speaker, and their de-notification, last week, following the removal of the party chief Imran Khan from the office of the Prime minister earlier this year.

The NA speaker had accepted the resignations of 11 PTI MNAs, including nine on general seats and two on reserved, under Article 64(1) of the Constitution of Pakistan.

On July 28, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf accepted the resignations of the PTI Lawmakers three months after the en-mass resignation of the lawmakers on April 11 following the ouster of the former prime minister Imran Khan from the top office after the no-confidence motion moved by the joint opposition in the parliament against him succeeded.

The government accepted the resignations of 11 PTI MNAs including Shireen Mazari, Ali Muhammad Khan, Ijaz Shah, Farrukh Habib, Shandana Gulzar, Fazal Muhammad, Fakhar Zaman, Abdul Shakoor Shad, Jameel Ahmed and Akram Cheema, ARY News reported.

The confirmation of the acceptance of the resignations was issued by the NA Secretariat, which issued a list.

Notably, the PTI members after approval of the party’s leadership tendered their resignations from the National Assembly. PTI MNA Murad Saeed was the first PTI MNA who submitted his resignation to the National Assembly’s speaker, ARY News reported.

The then-Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Qasim Suri approved the resignations of the PTI MNAs. (ANI)

ALSO READ-Economic crisis could deepen if Imran wins

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Boris dodges snap election

The government won the vote by 349 to 238, with the Conservative Party MPs rallied behind the outgoing Prime Minister…reports Asian Lite News

Lawmakers in the House of Commons, the lower house of the British parliament, backed outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government in a confidence vote.

Johnson’s government on Monday evening called for the confidence vote itself to see off a rival move by the main opposition Labour Party that could have led to a snap general election, Xinhua news agency reported.

The government won the vote by 349 to 238, with the Conservative Party MPs rallied behind the outgoing Prime Minister.

Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, urged MPs to vote no confidence for Johnson, adding: “Britain deserves a fresh start with Labour, free from those who got us stuck in the first place, free from the chaotic Tory party and free from those who propped up this Prime Minister for months and months.”

“Today, we finally have a chance to cast our verdict on a failed Prime Minister and a Conservative party that is collapsing before our very eyes,” Ian Blackford, leader of the Scottish National Party in the House of Commons, said in the debate in the Commons.

Johnson resigned earlier this July as party leader, the title that also gives him the job of Prime Minister.

In 2019, just months after moving into 10 Downing Street, Johnson called a snap general election, winning the Conservatives an 80-seat majority, one of the biggest successes in the party’s post-war history.

But amid a series of scandals, ranging from so-called parties at 10 Downing Street during Covid-19 lockdown to his handling of a scandal over a close ally involved in alleged sexual misbehaviour, Johnson bowed to pressure to stand down.

Earlier on Monday, the number of candidates in the race to succeed Johnson as party leader and the Prime Minister was reduced to four: Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Penny Mordaunt and Kemi Badenoch.

Rishi Sunak widens lead

Former finance minister Rishi Sunak widened his lead in the latest round of voting Monday by Conservative MPs to decide Britain’s next prime minister, but the race to get in the final two tightened.

Sunak won the support of 115 Tory lawmakers, followed by Penny Mordaunt on 82 votes, Liz Truss on 71, Kemi Badenoch on 58 and Tom Tugendhat on 31, who drops out as the last-placed candidate, the party announced.

MPs will keep voting until only two candidates remain, the winner then being decided by the party members.

Mordaunt had been bookmakers’ favourite before the weekend, but lost votes from the previous round.

Foreign Secretary Truss closed the gap to 11 and can probably expect more support switching to her from Badenoch’s backers, should the insurgent candidate be eliminated in the next round, promising a tense race to make the final cut Wednesday.

Television bosses earlier Monday scrapped a planned debate between the remaining contenders for Tuesday night after Sunak and Truss pulled out, said Sky News, which was due to host it.

“Conservative MPs are said to be concerned about the damage the debates are doing to the image of the Conservative party, exposing disagreements and splits within the party,” it added in a statement.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on July 7 he was quitting as Conservative leader after a government rebellion in protest at his scandal-hit administration.

He is staying on as prime minister until his successor is announced on September 5.

In the two previous televised debates — on Channel 4 Friday and the ITV network Sunday — the contenders clashed notably on whether to cut taxes to help ease a soaring cost of living crisis.

But Sunday’s clash turned more acrimonious — and personal — with candidates encouraged to directly criticise one another and their proposals.

Sunak called out Truss for voting against Brexit, her previous membership of the Liberal Democrats, and her position on tax.

In turn, Truss questioned Sunak’s stewardship of the economy.

Badenoch attacked Mordaunt for her stance on transgender rights — a rallying call in the “culture wars” exercising the Tory right.

Paul Goodman, from the ConservativeHome website, likened the debates to a “political version of ‘The Hunger Games'” and questioned why they had agreed to it.

“Tory MPs and activists will have watched in horror as several of the candidates flung buckets of manure over each other,” he wrote.

He questioned why they would publicly accept to criticise the record of the government that all but one of them served in, or the policies they supported as ministers.

Chancellor of Exchequer Rishi Sunak Spring Statement. Chancellor of Exchequer Rishi Sunak on his way to the Cabinet room for the Prime Minister’s weekly Cabinet meeting before delivering his Spring Statement in the House of Commons . Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

The main opposition Labour party has called for Johnson to leave immediately.

During the debate, Johnson defended his government’s record, citing the vaccine rollout and support of Ukraine.

“I believe this is one the most dynamic governments of modern times, not just overcoming adversity on a scale we haven’t seen for centuries but delivering throughout adversity.”

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn joked that his one-time sparring partner was taking MPs on a “fantasy tour of this country”.

ALSO READ-Rishi Sunak launches bid to replace Boris Johnson

India News

99% polling for Presidential elections

There were two contesting candidates — Draupadi Murmu and Yashwant Sinha for the 16th Presidential election…reports Asian Lite News

A total of 11 states and one union territory including Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Puducherry, Sikkim, Mizoram and Tamil Nadu recorded 100 per cent voting on Monday in polling for the election of the 15th President of India.

Polling concluded successfully in free, fair and transparent manner at the Parliament House on Monday and in each of the 30 places of poll in State Legislative Assemblies including Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi and UT of Puducherry.

There were two contesting candidates — Draupadi Murmu and Yashwant Sinha for the 16th Presidential election.

As per the Election Commission, of a total of 771 Members of Parliament entitled to vote (5 vacant), and similarly out of total 4,025 Members of the Legislative Assemblies entitled to vote (6 vacant and 2 disqualified), over 99 per cent cast their vote on Monday.

However 100 per cent voting by MLAs was reported from Chattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Puducherry, Sikkim, Mizoram and Tamil Nadu.

The Election to the office of President is one of the most important elections, which the Election Commission conducts vide the mandate of Article 324 of the Constitution. Polling was held between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in 31 locations.

As per Article 54 of the Constitution, the President of India is elected by the Members of an Electoral College consisting of the elected members of both Houses of Parliament, and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of all States (including National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry).

The Members nominated to either House of Parliament or the Legislative Assemblies of States, including NCT of Delhi and Union Territory of Puducherry, are not eligible to be included in the Electoral College.

The Election Commission is required to maintain a list of members of the Electoral College.

The list contains the names of elected members of the Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of States, NCT of Delhi and UT of Puducherry.

Two members including Anant Kumar Singh and Mahendra Hari Dalvi were not eligible to vote in the election on Monday, owing to disqualification under Section 8 of R.P. Act, 1951 subsequent to judgement of competent court.

Further, there are 5 vacancies in Rajya Sabha and 6 vacancies in State Legislative Assemblies.

Therefore, there were a total of 4,796 electors in the list of Electoral College for this Presidential Election to participate in the election.

ALSO READ-Naidu backs saffronisation of education

India News Politics

‘2024 general elections will not be for selection but for rejection’

She denied that there was violence in West Bengal after the 2021 assembly polls. “This is all propaganda by the BJP and its confidant media groups…reports Asian Lite News

The 2024 Lok Sabha polls will not be an election to select a new government at the Centre but to reject the BJP, West Bengal Chief Minister and All India Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee said on Monday.

Speaking at a conclave here, the Chief Minister referred to the recent trend of “bulldozer politics,” and said that the people of India will pay back the BJP in the same coin by bulldozing them out of power.

“The misuse of power by the BJP is bulldozing people and democracy. But in 2024, the people of India will bulldoze them out of power. The 2024 Lok Sabha polls will not be between BJP and the opposition, rather it will be BJP versus people of India. That is why I am saying that those polls will not be the election for selection but election for rejection of BJP,” she said.

She also took a jibe at the BJP over the latter’s frequent attacks against her for encouraging dynasty politics by promoting her nephew and Trinamool Congress’ national general secretary, Abhishek Banerjee. “Why is Abhishek targeted? Did not Sheikh Hasina take over the baton from her father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman? Haven’t people of Uttar Pradesh accepted Akhilesh Yadav after his father Mulayam Singh Yadav?” she questioned.

Banerjee alleged that it was something more than financial considerations that the BJP offered to the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs used for toppling the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government. “I will not spell out more details. It can be ‘M’ and it can be ‘W’. Now it is for all to understand. I have all the information but I will not say anything more. At times silence speaks more. Everything will be revealed at some point of time or the other,” she said.

She denied that there was violence in West Bengal after the 2021 assembly polls. “This is all propaganda by the BJP and its confidant media groups. Of the 21 people killed in violence, 16 of them were Trinamool Congress activists. Four of them were killed in BSF firing. Now all these have been included in the post-poll violence. The BJP’s national president J.P. Nadda is responsible for spreading such lies.”

Reacting to her allegations, BJP’s spokesman in West Bengal Shamik Bhattacharya said that the chief minister is actually scared of the growing popularity of the BJP throughout the country. “That is why she says such things. The 2024 Lok Sabha polls will prove that the public support is with the BJP on a much larger scale,” he said.

ALSO READ-EC announces Vice-Presidential election on August 6

Arab News

Ballot boxes distributed in Lebanon for parliamentary elections

Authorities in Lebanon have distributed thousands of ballot boxes all over the country for Sunday’s much-awaited parliamentary elections…reports Asian Lite News

Thousands of soldiers have deployed near the polling stations to ensure a smooth electoral process and maintain peace and security during the elections, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The security situation is under control, and a tight security plan has been developed to guarantee the protection of centres and the integrity of the electoral process,” Minister of Interior and Municipalities Bassam Mawlawi said late Saturday night.

A total of 718 candidates, including 118 females, are running for the 128-seat Lebanese Parliament.

Ahead of Sunday’s polls, the first round of voting for the Lebanese expats took place on May 6 in nine Arab countries and Iran, and the second phase began on May 8 in 49 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe.

ALSO READ: Lebanon starts second phase of expat voting in parliamentary elections

Lebanon’s sectarian power-sharing system allocates seats for its mosaic of religious sects in its Parliament, including Sunni and Shia Muslims, various Christian denominations, and the Druze.

The president must always be a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni and the Speaker of Parliament a Shia.

The elections come amid an unprecedented economic crisis that emerged about three years ago, leading to the currency to lose more than 90 per cent of its value since 2019, while also plunging over 70 per cent of the population into poverty.

Arab News

Lebanon starts second phase of expat voting in parliamentary elections

The second phase of Lebanese expatriates voting in parliamentary elections kicked off in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and 48 other countries on Sunday…reports Asian Lite News

More than 25,000 Lebanese voters residing in the UAE are eligible to vote and long queues were reported outside polling stations, Xinhua news agency reported, citing Lebanese news platform L’Orient Today.

According to the official Lebanese National News Agency (NNA), a total of 194,348 Lebanese expatriates have registered to cast their votes in the ballot boxes in Lebanese embassies and consulates in Canada, the US, Australia, and other countries in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun visited Sunday the Foreign Ministry to inspect its monitoring of the second phase of expat parliamentary elections that got underway in the morning, noting he hoped “the elections will end without any problems or objections.”

The first phase of expatriates’ voting took place on Friday in 10 countries, namely Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Iran.

The voter turnout in the 10 countries was 59.49 per cent on Friday, Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib was quoted by the NNA as saying.

ALSO READ: Lebanon Gears Up For Polls

The Lebanese elections, which are slated for May 15 at home, come amid an unprecedented economic crisis that emerged about three years ago, leading to the currency collapse and plunging over 70 per cent of the population into poverty.

Holding the elections is among the many requirements from the international organizations and donor countries for extending their support to the crisis-hit country.

Parliamentary elections are held in Lebanon every 4 years, and a total of 718 candidates, including 118 females, are running for the elections of the 128-seat Lebanese parliament scheduled for May 15.

-Top News Europe

No respite for Macron as Parliamentary elections loom

France’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest in 13 years during Macron’s first mandate, and its economy outperformed other big European countries as well as the broader euro zone…reports Asian Lite News

French President Emmanuel Macron enjoyed no respite from his political opponents on Monday as, hours after he won re-election by defeating the far-right’s Marine Le Pen, radical parties called on voters to deny him a parliamentary majority.

Macron, who pledged to work harder as a unifying force in a divided country, said his second mandate would be different after his sometimes high-handed manner alienated many voters during his first term in office.

But he will now need to win again in legislative elections in June. If he fails to do that, he will struggle to push forward with his pro-business agenda, including unpopular plans to push back the retirement age.

Senior politicians on the far left and far right urged the electorate to put a stop to those reforms.

“Don’t leave all the power in Emmanuel Macron’s hands,” said Jordan Bardella, a close Le Pen ally, urging voters to back the far-right National Rally in the two-stage parliamentary vote on June 12 and 19.

“If you want men and women who will … protect you from the brutality of Emmanuel Macron’s policies, you must elect hordes of National Rally lawmakers,” Sebastien Chenu, a spokesman for Le Pen, told BFM TV.

France’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest in 13 years during Macron’s first mandate, and its economy outperformed other big European countries as well as the broader euro zone.

But his pro-business and security reforms triggered much discontent, and Macron acknowledged in a low-key victory speech that many had voted for him mainly to thwart his far-right challenger..

The hard left’s Jean-Luc Melenchon, who came third, just behind Le Pen, in the presidential election’s first round, said Macron had been elected “by default.”

“Don’t give up,” he told his supporters. “You can beat Macron (in the parliament elections) and choose a different path.”

In recent French legislative ballots, the president’s party has always won a majority in parliament.

Should the outcome be different this time, Macron would have little choice but to name a prime minister from another party, ushering in what has traditionally been a tense period of cohabitation during which presidential powers are severely curbed.

During a cohabitation, the president remains the head of the armed forces and retains some foreign policy influence but the government has responsibility for most other day-to-day matters of state and policy.

“The recomposition of the French political landscape is not over. The majority that emerges from the parliamentary elections will be decisive for economic policy,” said Amundi Chief Investment Officer Vincent Mortier.

Final results of Sunday’s runoff showed Macron won 58.54% of the vote. While a clear win, the result also gave the far right its biggest share of the presidential ballot on record.

Macron and his allies pledged to govern differently and listen more to voters, hoping it will help them win a majority in parliament.

“Many in this country voted for me not because they support my ideas but to keep out those of the far-right. I want to thank them and know I owe them a debt in the years to come,” Macron said his late-night speech.

“We will have to be benevolent and respectful because our country is riddled with so many doubts, so many divisions.”

After a first mandate in which many criticised Macron’s sometimes abrasive style, the message on Monday was that things would be different this time.

“Our first job will be to unify,” parliament leader Richard Ferrand, a close ally of Macron, told France Inter, saying lawmakers would involve voters more in their decision-making.

Macron’s margin of victory was well below the 66.1% he scored against Le Pen in 2017.

The conservative daily Le Figaro wrote in its main editorial on Monday: “In truth, the marble statue is a giant with feet of clay. Emmanuel Macron knows this well … he will not benefit from any grace period.”

That also means Macron can likely expect more of the protest rallies that marred some of his first mandate.

“He’s not going to do another five years of the same mandate, that’s clear. We won’t let him do it,” said 63-year-old administrative worker Colette Sierra.

“If he does, I think people are ready to take to the streets if there isn’t the right kind of coalition government.”

But some voters were genuinely happy with Macron’s win.

“I’m very happy about the result because this president has already steered us through several challenges,” said 65-year-old lorry driver Lucien Sozinho. “He has shown courage, and there you have it, that’s the result.”

ALSO READ-UAE leaders congratulate Macron on re-election

-Top News UK News

Boris says he will fight next election

Opponents say he repeatedly lied to parliament last year when he said all guidelines had been followed…reports Asian Lite News

Boris Johnson said on Wednesday he would seek to be reelected prime minister at the next election and could not think of any circumstances under which he would resign.

Opposition parties and some of Johnson’s own Conservative lawmakers have said the prime minister must go, after police fined him for breaking his own stringent coronavirus lockdown rules. read more

Johnson apologised to parliament on Tuesday, saying he did not know a gathering in his Downing Street office to celebrate his birthday had been against the rules.

Opponents say he repeatedly lied to parliament last year when he said all guidelines had been followed.

The prime minister flew to India on Wednesday for a two-day visit. Asked by reporters on the plane whether he will fight the next election, Johnson replied, “Of course.”

Asked if he saw any circumstances where he could resign, he said: “Not a lot springs to mind at the moment.”

Johnson has said it is time to focus on other pressing international and domestic issues.

“The best thing we can all do is to focus on things that can really change and improve the lives of voters and stop talking about politicians,” he told reporters.

Lawmakers will on Thursday vote on a motion put forward by the opposition Labour Party which, if passed, would refer Johnson to parliament’s Committee of Privileges to consider whether his conduct amounted to contempt of the House of Commons.

But the government is seeking to delay the decision until after the police investigation into lockdown breaches has concluded, and a long-awaited report into the matter by a senior civil servant has been published.

ALSO READ-Johnson meets Adani, discuss cooperation

-Top News Europe UK News


Incumbent Emmanuel Macron, who is slightly ahead in opinion polls, held a rally in Marseille as he tries to convince left-wing voters to pick him on April 24

Thousands of anti-far right protesters marched across France on Saturday as opponents of presidential candidate Marine Le Pen seek to form a united front to prevent her from winning an election runoff against incumbent Emmanuel Macron on April 24.

Macron, a pro-European Union centrist, won the presidency in 2017 after easily beating Le Pen when voters rallied behind him in the runoff to keep her far-right party out of power.

This year, the first round of voting last Sunday set up the same battle, but Macron is facing a much tougher challenge.

In central Paris, thousands of people gathered chanting anti-far right slogans and warning of democratic upheaval if Le Pen were to win. One banner read: “Against the far-right. For justice and equality, not Le Pen at the Elysee,” referring to the French president’s official residence.

“If the far-right is in power we will see a major collapse of the democratic, anti-racism and progressive camps,” Dominique Sopo, president of SOS Racism, which along with dozens of rights groups, unions and associations called for the protests, told Reuters.

“People need to realize that despite their anger toward Emmanuel Macron and his policies, there is no equivalence between a liberal, conservative candidate and a far-right candidate.”

Police had warned of possible incidents as demonstrators convened in some 30 cities, but the protests ended peacefully.

Macron, who held a rally in Marseille as he tries to convince left-wing voters to pick him on April 24, is slightly ahead in opinion polls.

“The far-right is a risk to our country,” he told supporters overlooking the Mediterranean port city, which put far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon first on April 10. “Don’t heckle them! Beat them!,” he said.

Prior to the first round of the election Le Pen successfully tapped into anger over the cost of living and a perception that Macron is disconnected from everyday hardships. That saw her finish with 23.1 percent of votes compared to 27.85 percent for Macron.

However, she has appeared more rattled this week as the focus has turned to her manifesto and opinion polls have shown Macron extend his lead. An IPSOS-Sopra-Steria poll on Saturday showed the president winning the runoff with 55.5 percent of votes.

He has won backing from former presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande. Hundreds of celebrities and sporting figures have also endorsed him to block Le Pen coming to power.

Le Pen, whose stance is anti-immigration and euroskeptic, has sought in recent years to soften her image and that of her National Rally party. Opponents, including Macron, have said her program is full of lies and false promises — an accusation Le Pen has rejected.

Speaking to reporters on a campaign stop in southern France, Le Pen dismissed the planned protests as undemocratic.

“The establishment is worried,” she said. “That people are protesting against election results is deeply undemocratic. I say to all these people just go and vote. It’s as simple as that.”

With the electorate fragmented and undecided, the election will likely be won by the candidate who can reach beyond his or her camp to convince voters that the other option would be far worse.

For decades, a “republican front” of voters of all stripes rallying behind a mainstream candidate has helped to keep the far right out of power.

But Macron, whose sometimes abrasive style and policies that veered to the right have upset many voters, can no longer automatically count on that backing.

Highlighting how, for some voters, picking Macron is no easy decision, one banner read in Paris: “Neither Le Pen, neither Macron.”

Climate change activists from Extinction Rebellion had earlier forced the closure of a main square and avenue in the capital, protesting the environmental programs of both candidates.

“This election leaves us no choice between a far-right candidate with repugnant ideas … and a candidate who during five years cast the ecology issue aside and lied,” Lou, 26, a history teacher, who joined the Extinction Rebellion movement two years ago, told Reuters.

ALSO READ-Brexit ≠ Ukraine

-Top News News PAKISTAN

Shehbaz Sharif elected as new Prime Minister of Pakistan

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif was on Monday elected as the 23rd Prime Minister of Pakistan with 174 lawmakers voting in his favour after the MNAs of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf boycotted the election, Dawn reported…reports Asian Lite News

Earlier, PTI MNAs had walked out of the Assembly, with Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who was the party’s candidate for the top post, announcing that they would be resigning en masse from the National Assembly.

PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq presided over the session after Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri said his conscience did not allow him to conduct the session.

Announcing the results, Sadiq reminisced that he had also chaired the session during which PML-N supremo and Shehbaz’s elder brother, Nawaz Sharif, was elected as the Prime Minister.

“And today, I have the honour of chairing the session for Shehbaz Sharif’s election,” he said.

“Mian Mohammad Shehbaz Sharif has secured 174 votes,” he announced, adding: “Mian Mohammad Shehbaz Sharif has been elected as the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”

As soon as Sadiq announced the results and said Shehbaz is the new Prime Minister of Pakistan, lawmakers began shouting slogans in favour of Shehbaz and Nawaz.

The Speaker asked Shehbaz to move to the seat of the Prime Minister in the House and he shifted to the treasury benches amid cheers, with other members of the former joint opposition following suit.

Shehbaz said it is the first time in Pakistan’s history that a no-confidence motion against a Prime Minister has been successful.

ALSO READ: Will new govt rescue debt-ridden Pakistan?

“And good has prevailed over evil,” he said.

Shehbaz added that it is a “big day” for the entire nation when a “selected” Prime Minister has been sent packing in a legal and constitutional manner.

He said the US dollar’s value declining by Rs 8 signified the “happiness of the people”.

The newly-elected Prime Minister also thanked the Supreme Court for burying the doctrine of necessity forever.

“In the future, no one will be able to rely on it,” he said, Dawn reported.