Vote of No Confidence against PM Imran Khan

5 mn read Current Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) government came into power in July 2018 after general elections. Since then opposition parties claiming that the said elections were rigged and establishment was either directly or indirectly helped the PTI to establish government. Opposition parties in Pakistan have filed a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the National Assembly, claiming that “Imran Khan’s days are numbered, countdown has been started as his own people are disgusted with him”. On March 08, 2022, representatives of the opposition parties filed a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister in the National Assembly Secretariat, as well as submitted a requisition to summon a meeting of the National Assembly. The decision to file a no-confidence motion was taken at a summit of opposition parties. In this regard, Opposition Leader in national assembly Shahbaz Sharif, former president Asif Ali Zardari and head of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Maulana Fazlur Rehman held a joint press conference in Islamabad in which they assured that for no-confidence motion they have the secured the support of more than 172 members of the National Assembly. Shahbaz Sharif told media men that opposition parties including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam- Fazal Rehman Group (JUI-F) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) had met couple of days back and a no-trust motion has been filed in the National Assembly. Members of all parties signed the document but details were kept secret. Shahbaz Sharif said, “In last four years, the way the current government has taken poor social and economic decisions, one cannot find the presidents in our history. The biggest problem is inflation and unemployment and then 220 million people have been mortgaged by borrowing the loans. The country does not witness to have laid new bricks even after trillions of rupees in loans. The government, throughout its tenure, just replaced the old inauguration nameplates with new ones; no solid developmental work has been done by the government. The Imran Khan government has angered Pakistan’s friends like China and Saudi Arabia. Pakistan’s friends who have always supported the country in the time of war and peace have been angered. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC); a mega project with neighboring country China was targeted by allegations of corruption. Is this the foreign policy of Pakistan to annoy such friends? Imran Khan’s speech in Melsi annoyed Europe. Trade with the European Union and North America is worth billions of dollars. These are the reasons so we made this decision in consultation to file a no-trust resolution”. President PDM Maulana Fazlur Rehman believed that “after general election 2018, we had prepared a united stand within a week that the election was illegitimate, the mandate of the people was robbed and we would not accept it. Every party has its own platform. This is the beauty of democracy, but the basic premise is that we do not recognize this government. You (Imran Khan) deceived the world and the people of Pakistan. Government claims that they will give 10 million jobs to unemployed youth but actually you have demolished five million houses. The no-confidence motion against the incompetent PM will be successful”. During a media briefing former President of Pakistan and Co-chairman Pakistan People’s Party Asif Ali Zardari said it is the time to remove Imran Khan from PM office and bring some reasonable person for this important seat. We, the opposition friends, thought that if not now, then never. If the same poor performance of the government continues, no one will be able to correct these mistakes. “We consulted and came to the conclusion that no party can get out of problems alone. Together we will liberate Pakistan and future generations from it (the PTI government)”, Asif Zardari further added. While speaking to EAT News, Federal Minister for planning Asad Umer heavily criticized the opposition parties. “They (opposition) even yet have not come out of the grief of losing the general election 2018, the defeat in vote of no confidence motion is waiting for them. The whole nation saw the difference between the clumsy and the real players of politics. The clumsy politicians had taken politics hostage, for the first time in the history of the country a real player Imran Khan is challenging them”, Asad Umer was talking to EAT News. During telephonic conversation with EAT News Federal Interior Minister Shaikh Rasheed Ahmad said “There is no obstacle to no-confidence, this constitutional right of opposition, we respect it but opposition will not successful and their no-confidence motion will fail with 12 votes because they will not be able to win the trust of 172 Member National Assembly (MNA) against PM Imran Khan. The trumpet of competition between government and opposition has sounded in the parliament. Indeed, Imran Khan will win this match”. What is Vote of No-Confidence? Under Article 95 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister may be moved in the National Assembly. A no-confidence motion requires that at least 20 percent of the total members of the National Assembly submit a written notice to the Assembly Secretariat. Total numbers of Members National Assembly 342. Opposition parties have also filed a requisition to convene a meeting of the National Assembly under Article 54-3 of the Constitution. If only a no-confidence motion had been filed, the assembly session might not have been convened for an indefinite period of time, but now under the constitution, the Speaker is bound to summon a meeting in 14 days. The Prime Minister will not be able to hold office once the National Assembly approves the motion by a single majority. It means the no-confidence motion in the National Assembly requires 172 votes in favor. Under the constitution, voting on a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly will be executed by open ballot. Number Game in National Assembly According to the National Assembly’s website, the ruling party PTI has the support of 178 members, including allies. Among these, 155 members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), 7 members of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), 5 members of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), 5 members of Pakistan Muslim League Quaid e Azam (PML-Q), 3 members of (Grand Democratic Alliance) GDA and one member of Awami Muslim League. On the other hand, the opposition holds the backing of 162 MNAs. They include 84 members of the largest opposition party, the PML-N, 57 members of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), 15 members of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), 4 members of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) and one member of the Awami National Party (ANP). In addition, 2 independent members are part of this coalition. Opposition parties have claimed that they have the support of more than 200 members of the National Assembly in the no-confidence motion. If the party’s position is to be observed in the National Assembly, the opposition needs the support of 10 more members. The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), which has one seat in the National Assembly, has not yet announced its support to anyone. Now the opposition is making contacts with the ruling coalition parties PML-Q and MQM as well as the Jahangir Tareen group of the sitting government. The Jahangir Tareen group claims that it currently has seven members in the National Assembly. Jahangir Tareen group consists of PTI MNA but they have differences of opinion from PM Imran Khan on several issues.  It is expected that next week the Speaker National Assembly will sumon the session. Both the government and opposition are hopeful that they will be successful.  Let the dust settle down, upcoming week will decide the fate of Prime Minister Imran Khan 

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Muhammad Farhan Niazi is a correspondent for Eat News in Pakistan and is an experienced senior producer with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in feature and news writing, non-linear editing, radio, multimedia journalism, Online journalism, film production, and sound. Strong media and communication professional graduated from University of Peshawar.

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