Pakistani lawmakers elect Shahbaz Sharif as new prime minister

AP file photo
Pakistan’s opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif, center, speaks while other opposition parties leader watch during a press conference after the Supreme Court decision in Islamabad on Thursday.

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s parliament elected opposition lawmaker Shahbaz Sharif as the country’s new prime minister on Monday, after a walkout by lawmakers from ousted Premier Imran Khan’s party.

Sharif was the only contender. He is the brother of disgraced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif but his election will not guarantee a clear path forward — or solve Pakistan’s many economic problems, including high inflation and a soaring energy crisis.

Shahbaz Sharif was elected with 174 votes in his favor after more than 100 lawmakers from Khan’s party staged a walkout of the National Assembly in protest.

Mohammad Shahbaz Sharif is declared to be the prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, announced the acting speaker, Asad Sadiq.

Khan, a former cricket star turned conservative Islamist politician, was ousted on early on Sunday, after he was deserted by his party allies and a key coalition partner. The opposition pushed Khan out with 174 votes — two more than the required simple majority in the 342-seat National Assembly.