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Friday, March 31, 2023

Imran Khan Ousted as Pakistan’s PM After No Confindence Vote

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Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has been ousted from power after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership.

The vote was held past midnight after opposition parties brought a motion against him, which was upheld by the Supreme Court.

Mr Khan had said he would not recognise an opposition government, claiming that there was a US-led conspiracy to remove him.

The assembly will now appoint a new prime minister. Pakistan’s parliament will meet to vote for the country’s new leader on Monday.

That person will be able to hold power until October 2023, when the next election is due to be held.

Ayaz Sadiq, who is in charge of the national assembly while there are no ruling party members or designated speakers, said nomination papers for candidates should be filed by 11:00 local time (06:00 GMT) on Sunday.

Mr Khan becomes the first Pakistani prime minister to be ousted by a no-confidence vote.

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Mr Khan, 69, had acted unconstitutionally when he blocked the no-confidence vote and dissolved parliament.

This made several opposition members furious, with some accusing the prime minister of treason.

Minutes before the vote started, the speaker of Pakistan’s lower house of parliament – an ally of Mr Khan – announced his resignation. Members of Mr Khan’s party (PTI) left the building, insisting he was the victim of an international conspiracy.

Opposition parties were able to secure 174 votes in the 342-member house in support of the no-confidence motion, the house speaker said, making it a majority vote.

In a tweet, opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif said Pakistan and its parliament were “finally freed from a serious crisis.” Mr Sharif added: “Congratulations to the Pakistani nation on a new dawn.”
Meanwhile, PTI senator Faisal Javed Khan said the 69-year-old walked out of his prime ministerial residence “gracefully and he didn’t bow down”. The senator went on to say that Mr Khan had “lifted the entire nation”.
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