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Pakistan’s newly elected parliament meets for the 1st time

Pakistan's newly elected parliament meets for the 1st time


The lawmakers were sworn in at a brief ceremony in the 342-seat National Assembly, the decision-making lower house of parliament. Later on Monday, fireworks are to mark the eve of Pakistan’s Independence Day. 

The parliament is to elect a speaker and his deputy Wednesday and vote on the prime minister the following day. The swearing-in ceremony for the prime minister is due Saturday.


Khan’s populist Tahreek-e-Insaf party won 115 seats in the July 25 vote, requiring it to form a coalition.


Party spokesman Fawad Chaudhry has said that in the days following the balloting, more lawmakers joined its ranks and that it now enjoys the backing of 180 parliament members after several women lawmakers, minority and independents sided with Khan. He needs 172 lawmaker votes to be become prime minister. 

Khan has campaigned on the promise to create 10 million new jobs, wipe out corruption and help the poor, saying he would run Pakistan like it has never been run before.


Pakistan’s former President Asif Ali Zardari and head of the ex-ruling Pakistan Muslim League party, Shahbaz Sharif, also attended Monday’s ceremony. Khan avoided shaking hands with the two.


Pakistan’s opposition parties and rights activists have claimed the results of elections were manipulated by the military, which has ruled Pakistan directly or indirectly for most of its history. The military denies the allegations, saying it only provided security during the balloting.


The Pakistan Muslim League party has claimed the elections were rigged to prevent disgraced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from returning to power.


Sharif, who is currently appealing a 10-month prison sentence for the misuse of fund to purchase luxury apartments in Britain, was arrested on July 13 after returning from London.


As Pakistan’s new lawmakers took their oath of office, Sharif was taken by armored car from his jail cell at Adiala prison to the accountability court in the capital, Islamabad, to face more corruption charges.


Sharif’s daughter Maryam was sentenced to seven years in the same case and her husband to one year. Both are also appealing their sentences.


Though the National Assembly is tasked with passing laws, its decisions must be approved by the Senate, or upper house of parliament, which consists of 104 members who are elected by the lower house and the four provincial assemblies.