Updated March 3rd, 2024 at 11:28 IST

Shehbaz Sharif vs Omar Ayub: Newly Elected National Assembly All Set to Choose Pak's New PM

Nomination papers of Ex-Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif and PTI leader Omar Ayub for the election of the new PM of the country were accepted on Saturday.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif and PTI Leader Omar Ayub | Image:PTI / National Assembly of Pakistan
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Islamabad – Nomination papers of former Prime Miniter of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) leader Omar Ayub for the election of the new premier of the country or the leader of the house were accepted on Saturday. The nominations were approved as the newly elected Pakistani National Assembly is all set to convene at 11 am (local time) for the election of the coveted post of prime minister, Dawn reported. As per the reports, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) submitted the nominations for Shehbaz and Ayub on Saturday respectively. 

Before the assembly goes to polls, The Mutahhida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party, and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have all backed the PML-N's candidate, ensuring that Shehbaz can be elected for the PM spot once again. Meanwhile, Ayub lacks numbers, but independent candidates backed by PTI have managed to get support from SIC. According to Geo News, the nomination papers for Shehbaz were filled by the former Finance Minister of Pakistan Ishaq Dar, Hanif Abbasi, and PPP leader Khursheed Shah. Seven MNAs were listed as “proposers” and seven others as “seconders”. Meanwhile, the SIC has also submitted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Ayub’s nomination papers to the secretary of the lower house. Both sides supported the papers before the deadline which was March 2 at 3 pm. 

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Resistance from Ayub

On Saturday, the PTI nominee filled an application to the newly elected National Assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq in which he raised objects over the acceptance of Shehbaz's nomination. “Shehbaz was ‘gifted’ the seat as a result of manipulation in Form 47. As per Form 45, Shehbaz had lost,” the PTI-backed candidate for the PM’s slot said in his application. Ayub put forward this argument insisting that Shehbaz was “ineligible” to become the prime minister. “Objection filed against the nomination papers of Shahbaz Sharif to contest the position of Prime Minister with the Speaker of National Assembly. Shahbaz Sharif has been 'gifted' the constituency by manipulating Form 47 on February 9th 2024,” Ayub wrote on X, formally known as Twitter. “He had lost the constituency as per Form 45. He has been wrongly administered the oath as MNA and thus cannot be a candidate for the Prime Minister's position. @PTIofficial,” he added. 

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In order to be the leader be the leader of the house, Shehbaz requires 169 votes in the 336-member house. As of now, 205 members of the newly elected National Assembly are supporting the PML-N leader. After Prime Miniter's election, the newly elected national assembly will also elect a new head of the state on March 9. The election of the new President of Pakistan will mark the end of the tenure of the country's current President Arif Alvi. 

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Published March 3rd, 2024 at 11:28 IST