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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

High drama precedes Imran Khan's ouster; 174 members back no-confidence motion in Pak National Assembly

ANI | Updated: Apr 10, 2022 02:32 IST


Islamabad [Pakistan], April 10 (ANI): The Imran Khan government was ousted from power in Pakistan at the end of high political drama in the National Assembly with the Supreme Court having earlier overturned the decision of the Deputy Speaker to reject the opposition sponsored no-confidence motion against the ruling coalition.
The vote finally took place in the National Assembly past midnight on Saturday with 174 members voting in favour of the motion in the 342-member House.
The ouster followed a long struggle by opposition parties to remove the Imran Khan government from power.
Imran Khan sought to link the opposition's move to oust him through a no-trust vote with "foreign conspiracy" and named the United States in some of his speeches. The United States rejected his allegations. He also gave calls for people to take to the streets. The joint opposition remained steadfast in its objective of defeating him. The opposition's cause got help through dissensions from within the ruling alliance led by Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party (PTI).
The voting on the no-confidence motion was finally held as the House re-convened after midnight resulting in Imran Khan government losing the vote with 174 votes in favour of the no-confidence motion.
The high drama saw National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri resigning minutes before the vote on no-confidence motion.
PML-N leader Ayaz Sadiq, who chaired the session, said 174 members recorded their votes in favour of the resolution.
"Consequently, the resolution for vote of no-confidence, against Mr Imran Khan the Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan has been passed by a majority of the total membership of the National Assembly," he announced.
No member of PTI was present in the House and there were scenes of celebration in the National Assembly even before the results were announced.
Asad Qaisar resigned after a meeting with Imran Khan.
The session of the National Assembly was adjourned shortly after it convened in the morning amid ruckus in the House. The House reconvened at around 2:30 pm (local time) and was further adjourned after speeches were made by the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and several Opposition leaders including Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
The House reconvened at around 7:30 pm, only to be further adjourned after an hour of proceedings. The Assembly was finally convened after midnight following the Speaker's resignation.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had also called a Federal Cabinet meeting at 9 pm tonight, leading to speculations over whether the vote on the no-confidence motion will be held as per the directions of the Pakistan Supreme Court.
Earlier in the day, conceding the defeat, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Interior Minister Fawad Chaudhary changed their Twitter bios, adding "Former" to their ministerial titles.
Pakistan's Supreme Court in a historic judgement on Thursday had called for the convening of the session of the National Assembly "not later than 10:30 AM on Saturday" after setting aside the April 3 ruling of the Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri against the no-confidence motion on "constitutional grounds".
Declaring the ruling of the Deputy Speaker "to be contrary to the Constitution and the law and of no legal effect", the Court set aside all the subsequent steps taken, including the dissolution of the National Assembly, while also restoring Prime Minister Imran Khan and all the Federal Ministers to their respective positions as of April 3.
The court also fixed the Saturday session with the conditions that the session could not be prorogued unless the motion is voted upon, and in case Imran Khan lost the no-trust vote, the next PM had to be elected in the same session.
The PTI led coalition was formed in 2018 with the support of 179 members, with Imran Khan-led PTI's 155 members, and four major allies Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) bringing seven, five, five and three members respectively.
Imran Khan had effectively lost the majority in the House after MQM-P left the coalition on March 30. (ANI)

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