Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan was defeated in a confidence vote in parliament on Sunday, according to the speaker of the lower house, after coalition partners deserted him, blaming him for the country’s poor economy and inability to deliver on campaign pledges.
After numerous adjournments in the lower house prompted by members of Khan’s party, who claimed there was a foreign plot to depose the cricketer-turned-politician, the vote’s outcome was announced just before 0100 (2000 GMT).
According to presiding Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, opposition parties were able to gather 174 votes in the 342-member parliament in favour of the no-confidence resolution, making it a majority vote. Only a few members of Khan’s ruling party were present for the voting.
Two sources claimed the voting took place after Khan met with the country’s strong army head, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, as criticism of the parliamentary procedure grew.
Shehbaz Sharif, the head of the opposition, is the front-runner to lead the nuclear-armed nation of 220 million people, which has been controlled by the military for half of its existence. find out more
Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is known for being a capable administrator.
Khan, 69, came to power in 2018 with the support of the military, but he recently lost his legislative majority when friends left his coalition government. Analysts said there were other evidence he had lost the military’s backing.
Opposition parties claim he has failed to resuscitate Pakistan’s economy, which has been damaged by COVID-19, or to keep pledges to make the country a corruption-free, prosperous, and respected nation on the international arena.
Khan’s removal adds to Pakistan’s unwelcomed track record of political instability: no prime minister has served the whole term since the country’s independence in 1947, albeit he is the first to be dismissed by a no-confidence vote.