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National

PM Imran Khan gets 178 Votes – Bags vote of confidence

Scuffle breaks out between PTI, PML-N workers in front of Parliament; FM Qureshi tables resolution in favor of PM

ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan the Prime Minister of Pakistan get 178 votes against the minimum required votes of 72 from the National Assembly. After the due process of voting for reposing confidence in Prime Minister Imran Khan, the speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser announced the votes and the results.

By doing so, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has countered the opposition’s ability to challenge the legitimacy of the incumbent premier’s government.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tabled the resolution in the lower house on which voting is being held. The premier needs 172 votes to win the confidence vote.

Prime Minister Imran Khan reached the assembly hall shortly before the session commencement time. PTI lawmakers are also present in the assembly. 

“That this House reposes confidence in the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Mr Imran Khan, as required under clause (7) of Article 91 of the Constitution Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” says the foreign minister. 

Following the tabling of the vote of confidence resolution, NA Speaker Asad Qaiser read out the procedure for voting. 

After reading out the resolution, the NA speaker directed the legislators who wanted to cast a vote to make their way to another chamber inside the lower house in order for their votes to be recorded.

The 30th NA session – on a single point agenda – will make it clear whether PM Imran commands the trust of the house and whether the lawmakers who allegedly ditched the ruling candidate on the general seat in the recently-held Senate election stick to their stand.

The opposition alliance – Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – stunned the PTI government on March 3 when PDM candidate Yousuf Raza Gillani pulled off an unexpected victory against the ruling party’s Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the Senate elections on the general seat from Islamabad.

The five-vote victory in the capital’s Senate election brought the defining moment in the otherwise battle of narratives going on for months between the government and the PDM.

PM Imran announced that he would take a vote of confidence from the house, before the opposition could move a vote of no-confidence. Countering the government’s move, the PDM announced a boycott of Saturday’s NA session.

Heat rises outside parliament

Outside the parliament in the red zone, PML-N protesters and PTI supporters engaged in a short brawl and shouted slogans against each other. PML-N’s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal and Musadiq Malik were among the PML-N leaders present in the scene.

The incident occurred when PML-N leaders tried to address the media, PTI workers surrounded the PML-N leaders and a scuffle broke out. A large crowd has now gathered at D-Chowk and some political workers have entered the Parliament Lodges.

A large contingent of law enforcers has arrived at the scene and have managed to separate the political workers of the two parties. 

Needed Numbers

The government needs a total of 172 votes in the 342-member house are needed for a simple majority and to stay in power. The ruling coalition had 181 members but after the resignation of one of its MNA, Faisal Vowda, the number has come down to 180. The opposition coalition has 160 members in the house.

As party-wise, the PTI had 157 members in NA but following the resignation of a lawmaker, it has now 156 members while its allies include seven MNAs from MQM, five each from the PML-Q and the BAP, three from the GDA and one MNA each from the AML and the JWP.

Two of the four independents are also members of the ruling coalition; making a grand total of 180. Since the opposition has already boycotted the session, all the ruling party needs to do is to get all those standing with the government to vote for the PM.

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