Imran Khan confident ahead of trust vote in Pakistan Parliament today; govt needs 172 votes to win
The Pakistan prime minister called for a vote of confidence in the lower house of Parliament after his finance minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh was defeated in the closely-fought Senate polls
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan appeared confident of winning a trust vote in the National Assembly on Saturday even as the ruling party has warned rebels that those who vote against him would be disqualified.
Khan, 68, decided to take a vote of confidence in the lower house of Parliament after his finance minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh was defeated in the closely-fought Senate election on Wednesday. The Opposition demanded the Prime Minister's resignation after the debacle.
The floor test will take place without the Opposition as the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on Friday decided to boycott the vote of confidence on Khan's government.
The special National Assembly (NA) session has been convened on the directives of President Arif Alvi.
According to the National Assembly Secretariat, the session is being held on Saturday on the one-point agenda of the Prime Minister's vote of confidence, and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will table a resolution in the House on which voting will be held.
A total of 172 votes in the 342-member House was needed for a simple majority. The ruling coalition had 181 members but its strength has reduced to 180 after the resignation of one of its lawmakers, Faisal Vowda. The Opposition coalition has 160 members in the House.
Khan is the second Prime Minister in the country's history after Nawaz Sharif in 1993 to voluntarily seek a vote of confidence in the NA, Geo news reported.
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has 157 members in the National Assembly and has the support of more than 180 members including those of its allies, according to minister for science Fawad Chaudhry.
The Express Tribune quoted Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed as saying that Prime Minister Khan would get the vote of confidence and would start a new political life after the vote.
The 10-party Opposition alliance, PDM has announced to boycott the session, making it easier for Khan to secure the required numbers.
"No member of the PDM will participate in tomorrow's National Assembly session," JUI-F and PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had said on Friday.
He said that their candidate's triumph in the Senate election was itself a moral victory against the premier.
The announcement from the PDM came after Prime Minister Khan addressed the nation on Thursday, explaining why he was seeking a vote of confidence in the wake of the Senate elections in which the Opposition managed to stage an upset.
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