The Lahore High Court on Tuesday accepted a petition against the election of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan as the Prime Minister of the country. According to Pakistan-based Dawn News, the petition seeks that Imran Khan’s election be declared unconstitutional owing to the absence of members of the National Assembly during the voting.
The petition points that at least 69 National Assembly members had abstained and not participated in the voting. Hence, the plea says, that the lawmakers did not participate in the formation of the federal government in Pakistan.
According to the report, the petition was filed last week by one Sheikh Zahid Mahmood. The petitioner has cited Article 91(4) of the Constitution, claiming that it is mandatory for every National Assembly member to cast their vote for electing the Prime Minister.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, which had 54 seats in the National Assembly, had abstained from voting. As the voting proceeded, PTI’s Imran Khan defeated Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahbaz Sharif in a one-sided contest.
Imran Khan, 65, had secured 176 votes while his only rival, Shahbaz Sharif, got 96 votes. A total of 172 votes in the 342-member lower house of Parliament are needed to form a government.
Following this, Imran Khan announced his Cabinet comprising 21 members , the majority of whom previously held key posts in the regime of former military dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who had been a foreign minister from 2008 to 2011, was appointed as foreign minister, Pervaiz Khattak as defence minister and Asad Umer as finance minister.
Imran Khan was sworn in as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan on August 18. The oath-taking ceremony was administered by Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain. From India, the swearing-in ceremony was attended by cricketer-turned-politician and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu.