World

Pakistan Parliament ousts Prime Minister Imran Khan

Pakistan’s lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, voted Prime Minister Imran Khan out of power Saturday, nearly four years after he took office.

The voting on the opposition-launched, no-confidence resolution began after midnight local time, minutes after Speaker Asad Qaiser from Khan’s ruling party unexpectedly announced his resignation.

Qaiser invited a senior opposition lawmaker, Ayaz Sadiq, to chair the special session of the 342-member house, saying he could not take part in a “foreign conspiracy” to oust the prime minister. Sadiq later announced that 174 lawmakers voted in favor of the no-confidence motion.

“Consequently, the resolution for vote of no-confidence against Mr. Imran Khan, the prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, has a been passed by a majority of the total membership of the National Assembly,” Sadiq said.

The legislative house will now elect a new prime minister and government Monday. Shehbaz Sharif, the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party has already been nominated by the united opposition as their candidate for prime minister.

“We will not seek revenge. We will not put people in jails, but the law will take its course,” Sharif said in a speech after the vote Khan, the 69-year-old former cricket star, had lost his majority in the run-up to the vote after 20 lawmakers from his ruling party defected. Main coalition partners also switched sides and joined the opposition.

Khan has claimed the U.S. worked behind the scenes to bring him down, purportedly because of Washington’s displeasure over his independent foreign policy choices. The U.S. State Department has denied his allegations.

Elizabeth Threlkeld, who is a Pakistan expert at the U.S.-based The Stimson Center, said that even as prime minister, Khan often played the role of opposition leader.

“His removal would see him to a role he knows well, armed with a narrative of victimhood from unfounded claims of international interference,” she said. “His base will remain loyal, though I expect both his controversial attempt to remain in power and reduced military backing will lose him less committed supporters.”

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: WEST OBSERVER

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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