Pakistan’s parliament votes on Saturday on a no-confidence motion tabled by the opposition to remove Imran Khan as prime minister, days after a similar bid was blocked.
Pakistani Opposition Rejects Acting Minister Nomination
Within the framework of the parliamentary debate, which has lasted for hours due to pauses and speeches, Khan called an emergency meeting of his cabinet at 9:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. GMT).
The premier said he is in a fight to protect the country’s sovereignty and has called his supporters into the streets to challenge opponents determined to remove him from power.
This is why they are desperate to topple him by voting of no confidence instead of elections,+thereby seize power without a popular mandate pic.twitter.com/sA2BdrI9Rw
— Sami Hamdi سامي الهاشمي الحامدي (@SALHACHIMI)
April 9, 2022
Khan acted unconstitutionally last Sunday by blocking the no-confidence vote and dissolving parliament. However, the Supreme Court ordered that Congress meet again.
The session that began at 10:30 a.m. this Saturday has been postponed due to recesses, party meetings, and extensive speeches during the interventions, which has been questioned by opponents as a government tactic to delay the vote.
The opposition parties, which registered the petition for a motion of censure on March 8, before its dissolution was decreed, apparently had the necessary support for Khan to lose the confidence of the National Assembly.
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has 179 MPs in the 342-seat chamber and the opposition had 162 members.
This week, the Supreme Court annulled the dissolution of the National Assembly and ordered the vote of no confidence against it.
The decision was announced in a climate of extreme tension in Islamabad, after four days of hearings by a panel of five judges headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Umar Atal Bandial. The verdict was approved unanimously by all five judges.
The court affirmed that the decision of the vice president of the Assembly not to allow a vote of confidence on Sunday “is contrary to the Constitution, and is annulled as having no legal effect.”
“The National Assembly must continue with its sessions and reach a vote on the motion of censure,” he added.
Khan dissolved parliament on Sunday and paved the way for early elections after accusing the opposition of conspiring with the United States to oust him.
The opposition had mustered more than the 172 votes needed for impeachment when several members of his own party and a key coalition partner walked out.