Imran Khan has become the first Prime Minister of Pakistan to lose a no-trust vote in the National Assembly.
Despite several attempts to block the no-confidence motion here in the National Assembly, the voting took place after midnight in which as many as 174 members voted in favour of the motion in the 342-member House while members of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) were absent.
Pakistan’s political crisis: 10 developments
The voting took place after a high political drama in the National Assembly with the Supreme Court overturning the decision of the Deputy Speaker to reject the opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion against the ruling PTI-led coalition.
Imran Khan Niazi is a former Pakistani cricketer, who after leading the country to victory in the 1992 World Cup Final, retired from cricket and joined politics. He is the founding Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
As many as 174 members voted in favour of the motion in the 342-member House while members of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) were absent during the voting.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif tabled a no-confidence resolution against PM Imran Khan. PTI gets surety of support from PML-Q as Usman Buzdar steps down in favour of Pervaiz Elahi as new chief minister; government’s ally BAP sides with the Opposition. Independent MNA from Balochistan Mohammad Aslam Bhootani quits the ruling coalition and sides with the Opposition.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court, in a historic judgement on Thursday, had fixed the convening of the session of the National Assembly “not later than 10:30 AM on Saturday” after setting aside the ruling that Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri had delivered during the April 3 session of the National Assembly which had rejected the no-confidence motion on “constitutional grounds”.
Imran Khan had also called in a Federal Cabinet meeting at 9 pm, leading to speculations over whether the vote on the no-confidence motion will be held by on Saturday, as per the directions of the Pakistan Supreme Court.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif, who is currently the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, is all set to become the next Prime Minister as the ruling Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was voted out after losing the no-confidence motion.
Sharif’s candidature as the Opposition’s choice for the Prime Ministership was revealed by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari during a joint press conference of the opposition parties on March 30. He’s likely to be elected as the new PM in the same National Assembly session which has seen Imran Khan ousted from power after the country’s Supreme Court turned down the rejection of the Opposition’s no-confidence motion by the Deputy Speaker of the House.
Shehbaz Sharif was elected unopposed as the President of PML-N in February 2018 following his elder brother, and then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification from holding key positions after being implicated in the ‘Panama Papers’.
The factors favouring the younger Sharif, however, include the Opposition unity against Imran Khan’s ‘vindictive politics’ as well as the tactic support of the military establishment, which seems to be keen to unseat Imran Khan from power, especially after his recent vitriolic comments against the US, including raising the foreign conspiracy charge.
*With inputs from agencies