Cabinet minister resigns hours before confidence vote; Debate on the motion of no confidence Thursday
ready to give it up. The House will begin debate on the motion on Thursday and a vote must take place within seven days.
“The prime minister is ceasing to hold office after losing the trust of this house,” opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif said, reading the no-confidence motion broadcast live on television.
The vote comes as Pakistan faces a recurring economic crisis, with Khan’s government counting on the International Monetary Fund to release the next tranche of a $6 billion bailout to shore up dwindling foreign exchange reserves. .
Khan, 69, a former captain of the Pakistan national cricket team, lost a parliamentary majority with a series of defections from his party, and a united opposition is calling on him to quit. He swore to fight to stay put.
He blamed a foreign-funded plot for trying to overthrow his government. China is a longtime supporter and Pakistan, a traditional ally of the West, abstained from voting as the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly rebuked Russia for invading Ukraine.
Nearly 20 of Khan’s lawmakers have defected and his main coalition partners have suggested they could join the opposition, causing him to miss 172 votes, a simple majority needed in parliament to retain power.
The opposition says it has 163 votes and can get more.
The government has sought judicial intervention to prevent defectors from voting against the party under an anti-defection law.
The opposition and analysts say the prime minister has fallen out with the mighty military, which mainly determines who will rule, a charge Khan and the military deny.
Monday’s development comes a day after Khan, at a rally, pledged to defeat the defiance effort with the help of lawmakers from his own Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf party and political allies. .
Khan came to power in the 2018 elections, winning 176 votes. He needs 172 votes to stay in power, but a dozen MPs from his ruling party have rioted, accusing Khan of mismanaging the country’s economy.
“We have the support of lawmakers required to overthrow the government of Imran Khan,” Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, leader of the main opposition Pakistan People’s Party, told reporters.
But Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed promised that the no-confidence motion would be rejected.
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