Printed on Thu Sep 29 2022 8:22:23 PM

Protests in Pakistan over Khan’s removal

International Desk
World
Protests in Pakistan
Opposition politician Shehbaz Sharif submitted his nomination to be Pakistan's next prime minister to the legislature on Sunday, his party said, after incumbent Imran Khan lost a no-confidence vote in parliament after nearly four years in power.

The younger brother of three-times prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz, 70, has led a bid by the opposition in parliament to topple former cricket star Khan, and he is widely expected to replace him following a vote on Monday.

But Khan's party also submitted papers nominating the former foreign minister as a candidate, saying their members of parliament would resign en masse should he lose, potentially creating the need for urgent by-elections for their seats.

Khan, the first Pakistani prime minister to be ousted by a no confidence vote, had clung on for almost a week after a united opposition first tried to remove him.

On Sunday, he repeated allegations that a foreign conspiracy was behind the regime change.

"The freedom struggle begins again today," he said via his Twitter account, which is followed by more than 15 million and still describes him as Prime Minister of Pakistan in his biography section.

Even before the vote Khan had called for protests, which were expected to take place late on Sunday.

"I tell all of my supporters across Pakistan, on Sunday, after Isha (evening) prayers, you all have to come out of your homes and protest peacefully against this imported government that is trying to come to power," he said in an address to the nation on Friday.

His government fell in the early hours of Sunday after a 13-hour session that included repeated delays and lengthy speeches by lawmakers from his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.

Opposition parties were able to secure 174 votes in the 342-member house for the no-confidence motion, giving them the majority they needed to enable Monday's vote to elect a new premier.

Khan's former information minister Fawad Chaudhry told reporters of the plan for resignations if their nominee does not win.

The speaker would be obliged to accept those resignations that would necessitate by-elections in probably more than 100 seats.

 
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