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Pakistan

All in a day: No-confidence motion dismissed, President Alvi dissolves National Assembly on PM Imran's advice

  • In address to nation after dismissal of no-confidence motion against him, Imran Khan says he advised president to dissolve assemblies
Published April 3, 2022
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Post NA session

National Assembly session - Deputy Speaker dismisses no-trust move

After Information Minister, as well as newly-appointed law minister, Fawad Chaudhry presented his argument, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) Qasim Suri dismissed the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, declaring it "unconstitutional", an anti-climax development to weeks of planning and intense lobbying.

Suri, who was chairing the session, dismissed the motion, terming it a contradiction of Article 5 of the Constitution. The session lasted barely a few minutes.


Dissolve assemblies, advises PM

In a brief address to the nation after the NA session, Prime Minister Imran Khan said after the "unconstitutional" nature of the no-confidence motion he has advised President Dr Arif Alvi to dissolve the assemblies, and call early elections.

Khan had earlier suggested on Saturday that he might not accept a vote to oust him, a move he alleged was being orchestrated by the United States.

"How can I accept the result when the entire process is discredited?" Khan told a select group of foreign journalists at his office. "Democracy functions on moral authority - what moral authority is left after this connivance?"

"The move to oust me is blatant interference in domestic politics by the United States," he said, terming it an attempt at "regime change".


Opposition left fuming

The opposition, left fuming over the development, has said that it will now pursue a legal route against the premier.


CJP takes suo motu notice

Meanwhile, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial has taken suo motu notice of the political and constitutional crisis that emerged following Deputy Speaker National Assembly Qasim Suri's decision to reject the opposition's no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.


PM Imran to continue his duties

Following the announcement to dissolve the assembly, Law Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the prime minister will continue his duties "under Article 224 of the Constitution".

"The Cabinet has been dissolved," he added in the tweet.


Earlier updates

All eyes were on the National Assembly (NA) that commenced its crucial session on the no-confidence motion against Khan with both treasury and opposition engaged in planning and lobbying to foil each other's plans.

Ahead of the session, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) Marriyum Aurangzeb had confidently shared on Twitter a list of opposition MNAs who were likely to vote against the prime minister.

Uncertainty and fear grip Pakistan amid looming no-confidence vote

Reports from the ruling camp suggested that PM Imran, in his capacity as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman, held a detailed meeting with his close aides on Saturday, and decided that PTI lawmakers would participate in the no-confidence motion— to vote against this motion, in favour of the PM.

Previously, the treasury had decided that its members would be absent on the voting day, leaving it to the opposition to attain the required strength of 172 members in the 342-seat NA to vote out the PM.

It was learnt that PT leadership is considering different options to survive the no-confidence motion including declaring the votes of dissident PTI lawmakers, who would vote against the PM, as invalid or challenged votes and not counting them, wooing the support of the dissident lawmakers and some lawmakers from Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) as well as others.

In a related development, the PM also assigned Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry the additional charge of the Law Ministry.

The minister, immediately after assuming charge of the Law Ministry, issued directives Saturday for setting up a commission on probing “foreign conspiracy” against the PTI government in a bid to take to task the elements behind this move.

Earlier updates

The previous NA session on March 31 had been adjourned on Thursday, when it was due to hold a debate on the no-confidence resolution against Prime Minister Imran Khan. There were 24 points on the session's agenda, with the debate coming in fourth place. National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri presided over the session. However, the session was adjourned till April 3 with Deputy Speaker Suri saying that "since no one is serious in holding a debate on the no-confidence resolution."

During the session on March 28, Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif had tabled the no-confidence motion against the PM. 161 lawmakers voted in favor of the resolution, after which Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri adjourned the session till March 31 (Thursday).

Khan's future as prime minister was thrown into doubt after a key coalition partner switched allegiance ahead of the no-confidence vote.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), a key ally of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), announced that it was joining the opposition, dealing a severe blow to the incumbent government.

MQM-P convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui made the formal announcement, terming it a "historic" day. "This time, we can strive for a democracy whose effects can reach the common people of Pakistan.

Key ally MQM-P announces decision to part ways with PTI

"We have prioritised Pakistan's interests over all individual interests," Siddiqui said.

The opposition parties reportedly have the support of 177 members in the NA. The minimum number required to form the government at the centre is 172.

Aleem Khan's group refuses to vote for Pervaiz Elahi

Meanwhile, in more bad news for the ruling PTI, senior party leader Aleem Khan's group refused to support Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi as the ruling party's candidate for Punjab's chief minister.

"We will support the opposition against Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi," a spokesperson of the Aleem Khan group confirmed, saying that every loyal worker of the PTI had apprehensions about the PML-Q leader's nomination.

"Is there no one from the PTI who could become Punjab's chief minister?" he asked.

PM Imran suggests he might not accept vote to oust him

Meanwhile, PM Imran suggested on Saturday that he might not accept a vote to oust him, a move he alleged was being orchestrated by the United States.

"How can I accept the result when the entire process is discredited?" Khan told a select group of foreign journalists at his office. "Democracy functions on moral authority - what moral authority is left after this connivance?"

"The move to oust me is blatant interference in domestic politics by the United States," he said, terming it an attempt at "regime change".

PM Imran, who has already lost his parliamentary majority after allies quit his coalition government and joined the opposition, urged his supporters to take to the streets on Sunday ahead of the vote.

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