Pakistan Opposition members conduct NA session, pass ‘no-confidence’ motion against Imran Khan

Islamabad, April 3 : Though thwarted in their effort to oust Imran Khan, a majority of members of the National Assembly (MNAs) passed the “no-confidence motion” against the Pakistan Prime Minister to remove him from power in a National Assembly session convened by the opposition parties on their own. Shortly after Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri hurriedly adjourned the NA proceedings following his ruling on the no-confidence motion, which he said was being dismissed under Article 5 of the constitution, the opposition MNAs — numbering well over the simple majority of 172 required to remove the prime minister or elect a new one — protested against the ruling and termed it unconstitutional. After the deputy speaker and the ruling PTI MNAs had left, the lights in the National Assembly hall were turned on again, and the opposition started its own session. Former NA speaker and PML-N leader Ayaz Sadiq took over the Speaker’s chair and conducted the proceedings. Video clips, taken by mobile phones, show Sadiq sitting in the speaker’s chair and all opposition members welcome him and chant slogans, thumping their desks. The video clips show the NA hall full of MNAs, though the treasury benches remain empty. Shehbaz Sharif, PML-N president and Opposition leader, addressed the opposition session and blasted the conduct of the deputy speaker Suri. The National Assembly then held a voting on the no-confidence motion, submitted on March 8 and tabled on March 28 in the National Assembly, against Prime Minister Imran Khan. PML-N Ayaz Sadiq announced that a total of 179 MNAs had voted in support of the no-confidence motion. This did not include his own vote as he was acting as speaker, he said. “179 members voted in favour of the motion. Mr. Imran Khan ceases to be the prime minister of Pakistan,” Ayaz Sadiq announced. The MNAs stood on their chairs to vote in support of the motion, instead of observing the traditional process of voting by passing through the assembly hall’s doors. Ayaz Sadiq also ruled that the proceedings on the no-confidence motion against NA Speaker Asad Qaiser will be held at 4pm on Wednesday, April 6. The opposition had submitted the no-trust motion against Qaiser on Sunday. He then adjourned the opposition session. During the opposition’s session the National Assembly staff initially refused to switch on mics, which were then turned on. The galleries of the National Assembly were full of people. The NA session was watched with keen interest by many quarters, including deputy speaker Qasim Suri, who retweeted a video of the session, captioning it, ” Beggars can’t be choosers.” RN

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