Imran Khan nominates Omar Ayub as PTI’s PM candidate

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf, the political party led by former prime minister Imran Khan, who is in jail, has nominated Omar Ayub as its candidate for the position of prime minister. PTI-backed independent candidates have won 101 seats, the most in the elections to the lower house of parliament.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led by Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led by Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari joined forces to form a majority government, despite falling short of seats individually. Nawaz Sharif nominated his younger brother, Shehbaz Sharif, for the Prime Minister’s position.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), with 53 seats, has pledged its support to Shehbaz Sharif’s PML-N, which secured 75 seats. To govern, a party must secure 133 out of the 265 contested National Assembly seats. Together, the PML-N, PPP and MQM-P have the numbers to form a unity government.

Nearly 60.6 million Pakistanis voted in the country’s 12th general elections last week. However, the poll day was marred by a day-long suspension of cellular services and allegations of rigging, prompting criticism from several countries.

However, PTI leader Barrister Gohar Khan on Thursday said former premier Imran Khan had nominated Omar Ayub as the candidate for prime minister while Mian Aslam Iqbal was picked for the slot of Punjab chief minister.

With post-election deal-making in high gear, the PTI — like all other political parties — is weighing its options. Earlier this week, the Imran-led party, whose independent candidates clinched a lion’s share in the polls, said it would ally with the Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeenin the Centre and Punjab.

Meanwhile, the United States expressed readiness to work with any government formed in Pakistan and called for a thorough investigation into claims of electoral fraud. US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller expressed concerns about vote-rigging allegations and said, “There were irregularities; we want to see them investigated. But ultimately, we respect the democratic process and we’re ready to work with the government once it’s formed.”

The Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) Thursday said that the electoral process in Pakistan was an internal sovereign affair and the nation was committed to upholding its constitutional obligations.

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