ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People's Party's Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has been elected as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. During the election for the prime minister in the National Assembly Ashraf secured 211 votes, whereas PML-N candidate Mehtab Abbasi received 89.
"Raja Pervez Ashraf is declared to be elected as prime minister of the Islamic republic of Pakistan," speaker Fehmida Mirza announced after the counting.
A total of 300 votes were cast in the election. 10 MNAs did not cast their votes.
Ashraf will take oath as the 25th prime minister of Pakistan later tonight (Friday) and was congratulated by President Asif Ali Zardari who said that Ashraf’s victory is an indication of the nation’s confidence in democracy.
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf is the fourth prime minister from the PPP succeeding Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani who was disqualified by the Supreme Court.
Earlier on Friday, Ashraf met with leaders of the PPP's coalition partners and secured their support for the election. Speaking to the media alongside PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervazi Elahi, Ashraf said that his main priority, if elected, would be to deal with and overcome the energy crisis.
As the National Assembly session began, JUI-F chief and PM candidate Maulana Fazlur Rehman appealed to the Speaker to adjourn the proceedings due to the demise of MNAs Fauzia Wahab and Zayed Khan. PPP leader Naveed Qamar rejected the suggestion saying this was not an ordinary session.
The Speaker, then decided to continue with the session.
Following this exchange, Fazlur Rehman announced to withdraw from the election adding that his party shall abstain from the process.
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf Profile
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, born on December 26, 1950 in Sanghar is serving as Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian’s Secretary General. Ashraf is an agriculturist and businessman by profession. He obtained his undergraduate degree from University of Sindh and did his diploma from United Kingdom in Industrial Management.
Right after his graduation, Ashraf continued his profession in the agricultural sector until he joined center-left PPP. After being affiliated with largest political party of the country, Ashraf made Gujar Khan his new home. He has being elected twice as member of National Assembly from his Gujjar Khan. Furthermore, Ashraf served as the chairman of Social Action Program from 1994 to 1996.
Ashraf started his political drive in 1988 and participated in 1989 bye-elections. Ashraf made his appearance in the elections of 1990, 1993 and 1997. In national elections of 2002, Ashraf defeated PML (N)’s candidate Chaudhary Zaman by a huge margin. In 2008 elections, Ashraf defeated PML (Q)’s candidate Qasim Javed.
After PPP’s victory in 2008 elections, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf took the office as Minister of Water and Power. However, Ashraf was found accused in rental power corruption scam, on which he was reshuffled to the Ministry of Information and Technology. Court’s proceedings regarding the case are still in progress.