The National Assembly will elect the 19th prime minister of Pakistan during a special session on Friday in what will be a one-on-one contest between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)
PTI’s Imran Khan and PML-N’s Shehbaz Sharif are contending for the coveted position–with the former tipped as the favourite.
The chances of Imran attaining the country’s top office strengthened after the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) announced they would abstain from voting in the session, earlier the party had said it would not support PML-N. The Jamaat-e-Islami is also reportedly abstaining from the voting process.
Both the top contenders; Imran and Shehbaz reached the Parliament house for the session.
After attaining a majority in the election for the speaker and deputy speaker slots in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Imran is expected to become the leader of the house.
The PTI, according to its spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry, will succeed in getting over 180 votes. “It is obvious that Imran will win this election,” he said. The PTI chief also called for a parliamentary meeting prior to the session.
The PTI has currently 152 members in the National Assembly while seven of its allied parties’ number makes its total at 183. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has seven seats; Pakistan Muslim League and Balochistan Awami Party three each; Balochistan National Party has four members; Grand Democratic Alliance has three and Awami Muslim League and Jamhoori Watan Party one seat each. Similarly, nine independents have already joined the PTI.
The PML-N with 82 members is the largest party on the opposition side followed by the PPP with 53 lawmakers, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal 15 MNAs and the Awami National Party has one seat. However, the situation does not seem in favour of the opposition alliance as it is rife with differences.
On Thursday, the PPP in its parliamentary party meeting decided in principle not to vote for Shehbaz Sharif due to concerns of the party’s internal and senior leadership.