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Shehbaz Sharif sworn in as Pakistan's prime minister after contentious vote

In this photo released by the Pakistan'(Pakistan's President Office via AP) In this photo released by the Pakistan'(Pakistan's President Office via AP)
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ISLAMABAD -

Shehbaz Sharif was sworn in as Pakistan's new prime minister on Monday after being elected a day earlier in a raucous parliamentary session.

He held the same position from April 2022 to August 2023, replacing archrival Imran Khan who was kicked out of the job after a no-confidence vote. Shehbaz is the younger brother of three-time premier Nawaz Sharif.

His appointment is controversial because of parliamentary elections last month that his opponents claimed were rigged in his favour.

Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, the PTI, insists it did better in the poll but that electoral theft and other irregularities deprived it of a parliamentary majority.

Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League party, the PML-N, didn't win enough seats to form a government but went into coalition with others to get a majority, clearing his path to a second premiership.

He secured 201 votes in parliament to become prime minister, defeating the PTI-backed candidate Omar Ayub, who got 92 votes.

Monday's swearing-in ceremony was held in the capital, Islamabad. President Arif administered the oath of office.

Sharif pledged to perform his duties and functions with honesty and loyalty and always for the country's independence, "integrity, stability, and for the sake of unity."

But stability and unity are in short supply in Pakistani politics, and Sharif has a tough task of bringing lawmakers together to steer the country through challenging times.

The first two sessions of parliament have been chaotic and noisy, with the opposition shouting and jeering at the new government because of their election grievances.

Sharif is the 24th prime minister in Pakistan's 77-year history.

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