Pakistan PM Imran Khan loses no-confidence vote

World Sunday 10/April/2022 05:00 AM
By: DW
Pakistan PM Imran Khan loses no-confidence vote

Pakistan's lawmakers on Saturday voted to remove Prime Minister Imran Khan from office in a motion of no confidence, days after a similar attempt where he had the parliament dissolved and called for fresh elections.

Opposition parties were able to secure 174 votes in the 342-member National Assembly in support of the motion, the house speaker said, making it a majority vote.

There were just a few legislators of Khan's ruling party present for the process.

The result means Khan will no longer hold office and the Assembly members will now elect a new prime minister and government.

Shehbaz Sharif tipped for top job

Ayaz Sadiq, a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, said the lower house will convene on Monday to vote for a new prime minister.

Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif — the brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif — is almost certain to fill the vacancy.

Shehbaz Sharif thanked all the opposition leaders after the vote and promised that his new administration, if confirmed, would look forward.

"This alliance will rebuild Pakistan and we will not indulge in the political victimization of the opponents," he said.

"I don't want to discuss the bitterness of the past. We want to forget them and move forward. We will not take revenge or do an injustice; we will not send people to jail for no reason. Law and justice will take their own course," Sharif added.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who was prime minister for 9 months from August 2017, told DW that the vote was "an unprecedented victory for democracy and the constitution. We thanked the judiciary and politicians who stood against the unconstitutional act of Khan's cruel regime."

Speaker quits over no-confidence vote

Minutes before voting began, speaker Asad Qaiser resigned from his post, adding to the dramatic events of the past few days.

Saturday's vote came after the nation's Supreme Court dealt a blow to Khan by ruling that the dissolution of the legislature last week was illegal, and that the parliament must be reconvened.

Khan said late Friday he was disappointed by the court ruling but accepted it.

He insisted he was a victim of a "regime change" conspiracy involving the United States. Khan also called on his supporters to take to the streets on Sunday and peacefully protest against an "imported government."

"I'm ready for a struggle," Khan said.

The US has denied any involvement in Pakistan's internal politics.