Raja Pervez Ashraf has been declared the new prime minister of Pakistan after the members of the National Assembly convened to vote for the new premier on Friday. He got 211 votes. Raja Pervez Ashraf’s competing candidate Sardar Mehtab Abbasi, from Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) lost with 89 votes. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s (JUI-F) Fazlur Rehman was the third candidate, but he withdrew his nomination as soon as the National Assembly session began. According to sources, Ashraf is expected to take oath as the prime minister later tonight, and the new cabinet will consist of the same members as the previous one.
He was elected twice from NA-51, Gujjar Khan and also appointed federal minister for water and power after the 2008 elections. The newly premier was again appointed a minister in the recently-dissolved cabinet. Raja Pervez Ashraf also faced corruption allegation for receiving kickbacks in rental power projects and buying properties in London. The Supreme Court also directed NAB to take action against Ashraf for his alleged involvement in rental power case. The session of National Assembly started with the recitation of the Holy Quran, after which the Speaker Fehmida Mirza opened the session. Maulana Fazlur Rehman requested the Speaker to postpone the election for some time. However, his request was declined by the Speaker, after which Moulana Fazl announced that his party would remain neutral in the election and not vote for any candidate. Later, the Speaker told the members to go the polling booths made for the purpose and the process of voting started. The House was divided in two parts. The voters of Sradar Mehtab were assigned the left side of the lobby while voters of Raja Ashraf were asked to gather on the right side. Raja Ashraf went to the Opposition members and shook hands with them. He also embraced Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Maulana Faza was looking as composed as ever on the occasion. Faisal Saleh Heyat also voted in favor of Raja Ashraf. Earlier in a statement Faisal had said that he would not vote for Ashraf. It must be recalled that it was Fiasal Saleh who took the rental power corruption case to Supreme Court.