Pakistan no-confidence vote scheduled to begin

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to face a no-confidence vote in Islamabad today. The motion was submitted to

Pakistan PM Imran Khan faces a no-confidence vote

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan faces a no-confidence vote today – Photo: AP Photo/Anjum Naveed

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to face a no-confidence vote in Islamabad today.

The motion was submitted to Parliament on March 8 and finally tabled on the floor of the National Assembly on March 28 with voting scheduled for today. On March 30, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) party announced it was quitting Khan’s centrist Pakistan Justice Movement-led (PTI) coalition government and joining two other former coalition support parties in the opposition, led by center-left Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

The loss of MQM-P renders Khan’s administration a minority government and confirms its likely imminent collapse and swinging significant momentum behind the opposition’s motion. The opposition needs 172 votes in the 342 seat Assembly to oust Khan from the Prime Ministership. They now theoretically have 177 confirmed votes and are almost certain to win the vote of no confidence.

If Khan loses the vote, the opposition leader, PPP’s Shahbaz Sharif, will succeed him as PM. Khan’s hopes will then rest on pressuring for an early election this year, relying on his personal popularity and handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020-2021. Sharif has announced his priorities being the economic development of underdeveloped provinces and the rights of minorities.

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