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Pakistan Swears In Newly-Elected Parliament

FILE: Pkistani parliament house building in Islamabad,
FILE: Pkistani parliament house building in Islamabad,

Members of Pakistan’s newly-elected parliament have been sworn in following general elections last month that were marred by allegations of fraud.

The lawmakers took the oath at a ceremony in the National Assembly on August 13.

An election for a speaker and their deputy is scheduled for later this week, after which the 342-seat assembly will vote on the new prime minister.

The July 25 national elections gave victory to the Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaf (PTI) party, knocking former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz from power.

The PTI did not win enough parliamentary seats to form a government, but the party claims it has enough support to form a coalition, and its leader Imran Khan is expected to become the next head of government.

Supporters of the country’s opposition political parties have rallied to protest what they claim were fraud and voting irregularities in the elections, directly blaming the country's powerful military.

The army, which has ruled Pakistan for about half the time since its formation in 1947, denied it intervened to help Kahn take power. Khan, a cricket star turned politician, has vowed to investigate the allegations once he takes office.

A monitoring team from the European Union has said the election results "overall" were "credible," although they did criticize the campaign, saying it was marred by intimidation of some candidates, an effort to undermine the former ruling party, and media self-censorship.

Violence that led to at least 31 deaths was also reported on election day.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa