Pakistan’s parliament will assemble on Friday to take up a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, the lower house speaker’s office said on Sunday, in what is shaping up to be his toughest test since coming to power in 2018.
Opposition parties have come altogether to file the motion against PM Khan this month, stating he had lost his parliamentary majority after over a dozen defections from his party, raising the risk of political turmoil in the nuclear-armed South Asian nation.
As per the constitution, the speaker of the lower house of the parliament has to assemble the session within 14 days of receiving the motion, which would fall on Monday.
According to a statement from the speaker’s office, the date was pushed back several days because of a conference of Islamic nations in Islamabad scheduled for March 23.
The opposition blames Khan for mismanaging the economy and foreign policy, whereas he refused to this.
Notably, no Prime Minister has ever completed his full term in office.
Meanwhile, Khan has appealed to the defected lawmakers to return to the ruling party. He said, “Get back, you will be forgiven, Like a father forgives his children.”
The loss of dissident legislators has left Khan about a dozen seats less than the minimum- 172 – required for an absolute majority. The joint opposition controls around 163 seats in the lower house, but could build a majority if most of the defectors effectively join its ranks via a no-confidence vote.
The opposition, as well as political analysts, also stated that Khan has fallen out with Pakistan’s powerful military, whose support is essential for any party to attain power in the way the former cricket star’s upstart party did four years ago.
Khan & the military denied the accusation.
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