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Pakistan's Parliament Elects Ashraf As Speaker As New Ruling Coalition Cements Power


Raja Pervaiz Ashraf is a former Pakistani prime minister who is now speaker of the National Assembly. (file photo)

ISLAMABAD -- Former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has been elected speaker of Pakistan's National Assembly as a new ruling coalition took control of the lower house of parliament after Imran Khan and his government was ousted in a no-confidence vote a week ago.

Ashraf, a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), was the sole candidate for the position when parliament met on April 16.

Five days earlier, parliament elected opposition lawmaker Shehbaz Sharif as the country's new prime minister.

Sharif, 70, is the head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the younger brother of former three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was convicted of corruption.

Khan, who was in power for just over three years, was ousted in a no-confidence vote that was held until the early hours of April 10 after a united opposition brought a motion against him following weeks of political crisis.

Opposition parties were able to secure 174 votes in the 342-member house for the no-confidence motion, giving them the majority they needed and paving the way for Sharif to take power.

Khan earlier had tried to prevent the vote by dissolving parliament and calling early elections, but a Supreme Court ruling ordered the no-confidence vote to go ahead.

Parliamentary elections must be held by October 2023.

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