The National Assembly will meet on Friday (today) to decide who will be the country’s 22nd prime minister.
The PTI, which has the majority in the house, has nominated its chairperson, Imran Khan, for the post of premier. PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has also filed nomination papers for the post. No other candidate has been nominated, so it will be a head to head race between Imran and Shehbaz.
Parliament has 342 seats — 272 general, 60 reserved seats for women and 10 reserved seats for minorities.
Out of the 272 general seats on which members are directly elected, 261 have been occupied. Elections were postponed on two seats while others are vacant after candidates who were elected on more than one seat decided to give these seats up.
Similarly, 59 of 60 reserved seats for women have been occupied while all 10 seats reserved for minorities have been occupied.
On Friday, 330 members will be voting to choose the country’s prime minister. The PTI has 152 seats, while it also has the support of the seven MQM members, five members of the BAP, four of BNP-Mengal, three of PML-Q, three of the GDA and one each of the AML and JWP. The PTI also claims to have the support of four independent candidates.
The PTI will need 166 votes for a simple majority. Right now, it has 176 members on its side.
On the other hand, the PML-N has 81 seats and also has the support of 15 MMA members and one ANP member in the assembly.
The PPP has 54 seats in the house, however, it is still unclear whether they will be voting or not. If the PPP votes for Shehbaz, they will have 151 members supporting them.
So far, if we look at the number game, it seems it will be easy sailing for the PTI.
On August 15, the PTI was also able to get their candidates Asad Qaiser and Qasim Suri elected speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly.
There were 330 votes cast of which 322 were valid. Qaiser obtained 176 votes while the opposition’s Khursheed Shah obtained 146.
Suri secured 183 votes through secret balloting, while Maulana Asad Mehmood, the opposition’s candidate for the post, got 144 votes.