By Islamuddin Sajid
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) – Pakistan’s former cricket hero Imran Khan’s party has officially nominated him as its candidate for the country’s next prime minister, a party official said on Monday.
“All the parliamentary party members unanimously approved the resolution to nominate Imran Khan as the parliamentary leader and nominee for the next country's premiership,” said Shah Mehmood Qureshi , vice chairman of the Pakistan Tehrek-e-Insaf (PTI).
In the July 25 elections, the PTI emerged as the single largest party but fell short of simple majority in the National Assembly. The party will have to seek formal support from smaller parties or independents to get elected the prime minister of its choice.
"Finally we have achieved the required numbers for simple majority in the parliament and now Imran Khan will easily be elected as prime minister of Pakistan" Qureshi said.
However, the nominees for the speaker and deputy speaker of National Assembly have not been announced yet.
The National Assembly has 342 members, of which 272 are directly elected. A party needs 172 seats to form the government.
"Our party strength is currently at 125 after the inclusion of nine independents but total numbers reached to 174 with allies and the party's reserved seats in the National Assembly, Fawad Chudhary, the PTI spokesman, claimed.
Meanwhile, several opposition parties have also formed “Grand Opposition Alliance” against the PTI and they have decided to nominate joint candidates for the election of prime minister, speaker and deputy speaker of the parliament.
The alliance include Pakistan Muslim-Nawaz, Pakistan People’s Party, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal , Awami National Party, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, National Party Balochistan, Qaumi Watan Party and Pak Sarzameen Party.