Pakistan lawmakers to elect new premier on June 5



Islamabad: The formal election of Pakistan's new Prime Minister by members of the National Assembly will be held on June 5, officials said Monday.

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif is set to become premier for an unprecedented third term. PML-N officials said his election to the post will be a mere formality as the party has the required numbers in the 342-member National Assembly or lower house of parliament.

The first session of the new National Assembly will be convened on June 1. Soon after the House convenes, the newly elected members will take oath.

Nomination papers for the posts of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly will be submitted on June 2 and elections will be held the next day.

Nomination papers for the post of Prime Minister will be submitted on June 4 and the election will be held the following day.

The PML-N won 126 of the 272 directly elected seats in the National Assembly in the May 11 general elections. Eighteen independent candidates recently joined the party, taking its tally of directly elected seats to 144. The PML-N will also be allocated 37 reserved seats for women and non-Muslims.

This will give it 181 seats in the 342-member House, or 10 seats more than the 171 required for a simple majority. The PML-N's strength in the National Assembly is set increase further as several parties - including the PML-F, National People's Party and National Party ? are expected to enter into an alliance with it.

However, the PML-N's dream of getting Sharif elected unopposed as the new premier has been shattered as Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf has announced it will field veteran politician Javed Hashmi for the post. This is more a symbolic gesture rooted in the Tehrik-e-Insaf's opposition to the PML-N.

Hashmi is a former PML-N leader who quit the party and joined the Tehrik-e-Insaf last year.

PTI