Pakistan PM Imran Khan Secures Vote of Confidence

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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

Imran Khan secured 178 votes in the 342-member lower house of parliament

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday secured a vote of confidence in the National Assembly, dashing the opposition’s hopes to challenge the legitimacy of the incumbent government.

Imran Khan secured 178 votes in the 342-member lower house of parliament during a special session convened on the directives of Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi. A total of 172 votes was needed for a simple majority.

The floor test took place without the Opposition as the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – an alliance of 11 parties – boycotted the voting, reports PTI

While announcing the result, Speaker Asad Qaiser said that eight years ago, Khan had been elected to the post with 176 votes, and “today, he has secured 178 votes”.

The 68-year-old cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan sought the vote of confidence in a televised address to the nation on Thursday after witnessing the shocking defeat of a ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate in the Senate polls held on Monday.

The premier announced the decision after some of his party members in the Senate voted for Yousaf Raza Gilani, the joint opposition’s nominee for Islamabad, over the PTI’s Abdul Hafeez Sheikh.

Khan slammed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for failing to hold fair and transparent Senate elections, accusing them for allegedly protecting those who made money by holding Senate elections through secret ballot.

Saturday’s session began at 12.15 p.m.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tabled the resolution on which voting was held.

Meanwhile, dozens of PTI supporters have gathered outside the Parliament Lodges, holding up banners and chanting slogans in support of the Prime Minister.

During a meeting a day ahead of the session, 175 out of 179 government lawmakers assured Khan that they would give him the vote of confidence, said the Dawn news report. — IANS

(With inputs from PTI)

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