Pakistani opposition politician Shehbaz Sharif has submitted his nomination to be Pakistan’s next prime minister, his party said, after incumbent Imran Khan lost a no-confidence vote in parliament.
Sharif, 70, led a bid by the opposition in parliament to topple Khan, and he is widely expected to replace him as prime minister following a vote on April 11.*
Sharif is the younger brother of disgraced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was convicted of corruption.
The chief of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) handed in Sharif's nomination papers to parliament on April 10, a spokeswoman for the party said.
Khan’s Tehrik-e Insaf (PTI) has nominated former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for prime minister.
Parliament is expected to meet on April 11 to elect and swear in a new prime minister, who will hold power until October 2023, when a snap vote for parliament is due to be held.
The no-confidence vote was held past midnight after opposition parties brought a motion against Khan, following weeks of political turmoil.
Opposition parties were able to secure 174 votes in the 342-member house for the no-confidence motion, giving them the majority they needed.
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.
Opposition supporters took to the streets early on April 10, waving national and party flags from car windows.
Khan has called on his supporters to gather in the evening, after the end of the daily dawn-to-dusk fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Khan had said he would not recognize an opposition government, claiming that there was a U.S.-led conspiracy to remove him because of his refusal to stand with Washington on issues against Russia and China.
Washington has rejected the accusation, and Khan has never provided any evidence for that claim.
The opposition had accused Khan of economic mismanagement as inflation soared and the national currency plummeted in value.
The vote comes amid cooling relations between Khan and Pakistan's powerful military, which many of his opponents allege helped him come to power in 2018. The military wields considerable power over civilian governments in Pakistan.