Islamabad, Pakistan – Imran Khan has been Pakistan’ prime minister by the parliament after his party swept the general election last month, marking the beginning of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) tenure in power.
Members of the National Assembly voted in the capital Islamabad on Friday for Khan to be leader of the house, making him Pakistan’s head of state.
Khan will take oath on Saturday, form a cabinet and assume control of the government in the coming days.
The long-time opposition politician takes the reins of power for the first time in his 22-year political career, having led a strenuous campaign against corruption and government mismanagement since he retired as one of Pakistan’s most popular cricketer in 1992.
On Friday, Khan handily beat Shehbaz Sharif, chair of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser announced.
Sharif’s party was decimated at the polls, dropping down to 81 seats in the 342-member house, in comparison to the PTI’s 151 seats. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) came in third with 54 seats.
The PTI has heralded the election win – the first time anyone other than the PML-N, the PPP or the country’s powerful military has ruled Pakistan in more than four decades – as “the end of an era”.
“There has been a change of generations,” said party spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry. “The priorities will now change. The old politics was synonymous with cronyism, corruption and incompetence. Let’s hope we can end this era.”
Khan’s election victory was marred by widespread allegations of irregularities in the vote counting process, and opposition parties say they will continue to lobby for the results to be investigated.
In his victory speech following the polls, Khan said he welcomed any investigations, and that his party would support the process.
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