Pakistan's parliament is poised to elect Nawaz Sharif as prime minister, completing the first transition of power between two democratically elected civilian governments in the nearly 66-year history of this coup-prone country.

The National Assembly is to meet later Wednesday to vote on a prime minister, after which Sharif will be sworn in. It will be his third term as premier.

Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League party won the May 11 parliamentary elections by securing 176 seats in the 342-member law-making lower house.

The vote is expected to be a formality, though the former ruling Pakistan People's Party and the party of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan have also fielded candidates against Sharif.

The 63-year-old Sharif served twice as prime minister in the 1990s and was ousted in a 1999 military coup.