ISLAMABAD–On Wednesday, August 15, 2018, A cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, was being elected as the speaker of Pakistan’s lower house.Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party won 116 of the 272 elected seats in the National Assembly, which is expected to vote in the former sportsman as prime minister on Friday.
AsadQaiser, a Khan loyalist, defeated Pakistan People’s Party candidate Syed Khurshid Shah, who was backed by lawmakers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) that held power last term. Qaiser won by 176 votes to 146.
“Mr. AsadQaiser has been declared to have been elected as speaker of the national assembly of Pakistan,” said outgoing speaker Ayaz Sadiq.
In a raucous ceremony, protesting PML-N lawmakers shouted “give honor to the vote” after Qaiser was announced as the new speaker. Qaiser previously served as the speaker of the provincial assembly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from 2013 to 2018. He was elected to the National Assembly for the first time in last month’s polls.
They also chanted the name of PML-N founder Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted from office in 2017 and who was jailed ahead of the July polls. They also allege Khan’s PTI path to power was enabled by clandestine assistance from Pakistan’s powerful military, which has ruled Pakistan for about half its history since independence in 1947. The army denies playing a role in the elections. The PML-N and PPP, two parties which have dominated Pakistan’s politics for decades, have both called into question the fairness of last month’s election, citing irregularities after polls closed.
A swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for Saturday.