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Shehbaz Sharif Elected As Pakistan's New Prime Minister

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Shehbaz Sharif. (file photo)

Pakistan's parliament has elected opposition lawmaker Shehbaz Sharif as the country's new prime minister, a day after incumbent Imran Khan lost a no-confidence vote.

Sharif, 70, is the president 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.

Shortly before the vote, lawmakers from the party of the ousted premier collectively resigned from parliament. Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaf (PTI) also withdrew the nomination of former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi as its candidate for prime minister.

“We boycott this election according to the decision of our party, and we are resigning,” Qureshi said in speech ahead of the walkout by more than 100 PTI lawmakers from the National Assembly.

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

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.

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 soars and the national currency plummets in value.

With reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa

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