Imran Khan elected new Prime Minister of Pakistan

Minnie Murray
August 17, 2018

Imran Khan, whose party swept the July 25 general election and commanded the loyalty of a majority of lawmakers in the Lower House of the Parliament, will take oath of the office on Saturday.

Pakistani politician Imran Khan, chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, addresses an election rally in Karachi, Pakistan on July 22, 2018.

Rival parties have alleged "blatant" vote-rigging.

Khan, a firebrand nationalist, has promised to create millions of jobs and build world-class hospitals and school systems in the mainly-Muslim country of 208 million people.

Cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan on Friday defeated Shahbaz Sharif in a one-sided contest to become Pakistan's next prime minister after the grand opposition alliance fell apart over the PML-N chief's nomination for the top post.

Khan received 176 votes in the 342-seat National Assembly, said Asad Qaiser, the speaker of the parliament.

Most pressing will be a looming economic crisis, with speculation that Pakistan will have to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund. The army and Khan's PTI deny any collusion.

Pakistan's parliament has elected Khan to lead the government. "Will stand in the national assembly twice every month to answer the questions about my leadership", PTI chairman said. "I got here on my own".

A sharp increase in oil prices - Pakistan imports about 80 percent of oil needs - has contributed to a current account deficit that widened by 43 percent to $18 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30. He also entertained reporters with a few couplets conveying a message of peace and love between the two neighbours.

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