Imran Khan, the country's former cricket star, was elected prime minister on Friday by Pakistan's lower house, the National Assembly.
Khan, 66, whose center-right Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the single largest party in the July 25 general election, won 176 out of 272 votes cast by parliamentarians.
Shehbaz Sharif, his only contender and three-time chief minister of the country’s largest Punjab province, received 96 votes.
PTI lawmakers thumped their desks and chanted slogans in favor of Khan, as soon as National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser announced the verdict.
The opposition members, mainly from Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party, raised slogans against alleged rigging in the election.
Khan will take oath on Saturday at the President House, said a statement from the presidency.
Donned in a white shalwar kameez, the national dress, and a black waistcoat, a visibly jubilant Khan thanked parliamentarians who strode to his seat to congratulate him.
Centre-left Pakistan People's Party and Jamat-e-Islami, part of the five-party religious alliance Muttehida Majlis Amal, abstained from the vote.
Khan, in his first speech after his election as prime minister, reiterated his willingness to hold investigation into allegations of rigging in the election.
“We are ready for investigation. We are ready to cooperate if you go to the election commission or the Supreme Court, but let me make it clear that we cannot be blackmailed by anyone.”
To his opponents amid jeering in the assembly, he said: “There will be no deal with any dacoit. I will not spare those who have looted this country in the last 10 years.”
Khan won the only cricket World Cup for Pakistan in 1992.
He grew up in an upper-middle class family in northeastern Lahore city and studied political science, philosophy and economics at the Oxford University.
All along his cricket career, Khan earned the reputation of a playboy following reported affairs with several British, Indian, and Pakistani women.
But after retirement from cricket in 1992, he swapped his lifestyle for philanthropy and politics.
Khan set out on a journey to collect donations to establish the country's first state-of-the-art cancer hospital -- named after his mother Shoukat Khanum who had died of cancer in Lahore.
He founded the PTI in 1996 with promises of 'Naya Pakistan (New Pakistan)', where dynastic politics had no role.
Khan married thrice, out of which two ended with a divorce.
He first married Jemima Goldsmith from England’s billionaire Goldsmith family in 1995, who bore him two sons; Sulaiman Isa Khan and Qasim Khan. They divorced in 2004.
Eleven years later he married a local news anchor Reham Khan in a union which could only last 10 months.
He is currently married to Bushra Manika, a faith healer.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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