Pakistan Opposition on Saturday rejected the confidence vote cast in favour of country’s Prime Minister Imran Khan during a National Assembly (NA) session, alleging that lawmakers were “forcefully” made to vote in favour of the premier.
Speaking to media in Sukkur just after the NA session concluded, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the Constitution clearly stated that the president can summon a session “if he believes that the prime minister does not hold majority”, Dawn reported.
“This was not a confidence vote. We know which agencies watched the members of the assembly the entire night. [We know] who knocked on the doors of each member to ensure they were present,” he added.
Rehman, who is the chief of the opposition alliance PDM, alleged that MNAs were “forcefully” made to vote for Prime Minister Imran. He urged the premier to “be courageous and ask the public to cast a vote of confidence [by] conducting a new election”.
Earlier in the day, Imran Khan won a trust vote in the National Assembly (NA) with his party securing votes above a majority mark in the 342-member lower house of parliament.
Khan decided to take a vote of confidence after finance minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, on Wednesday, faced a drubbing in the Senate election, reinforcing the Opposition to demand the Prime Minister’s resignation.
In the 342-member House, 172 votes were needed for a simple majority.
The 68-year-old cricketer-turned-politician called a meeting of parliamentary parties on Friday, in which all NA lawmakers of the ruling alliance were asked to vote for the prime minister or else face disqualification.
Imran Khan is the second Pakistani Prime Minister, after Nawaz Sharif, who went to the National Assembly for a ‘voluntary’ vote of confidence.