Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. — Photo by AFP
ISLAMABAD: Newly-elected prime minister Nawaz Sharif was administered the oath of office by President Asif Zardari on Wednesday, hours after the PML-N chief was voted to lead the National Assembly and form the government at the centre.
A crowd of government officials, military officers, and diplomatic representatives was present at the ceremony at the Presidency.
Following the oath-taking, the caretaker government at the centre stood dissolved.
Sharif was elected the country’s 18th prime minister in a race which also featured Pakistan Peoples Party’s Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf’s Javed Hashmi.
Sharif won the office by bagging 244 votes with his rivals Fahim and Hashmi securing 42 and 31 votes respectively.
Sharif returned to power after surviving a military coup, a seven-year exile to Saudi Arabia and a government dismissal. His party secured majority in the May 11 elections making him the only leader to assume power for the third time amid hopes and promises that he will steer the country out of crisis.
After being elected to the office of prime minister, Sharif addressed the National Assembly and vowed to fulfill the mandate entrusted upon him by the people of Pakistan.
In his address on the floor of the House, Sharif said time had begun for politics of principles and not of power. He added that the PML-N had embraced the process of change by leaving the field open for Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sharif said the process was also observed in Balochistan where PML-N vacated the field for the representatives of the people of the province.
The prime minister moreover said his government’s priority would be to give the country a solid infrastructure, bring in economic reforms and tackle corruption.