ISLAMABAD, Mar 6 : Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday sailed through the vote of confidence from the National Assembly, after getting 178 votes, only two days after his party lost a crucial seat in the Senate election.
The opposition alliance chose to stay away from the process and watched the proceedings from the Sindh House. The joint eleven-party alliance under the banner of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) won a general seat for the Senate for former prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani against the ruling party candidate, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, with a five-vote victory.
Imran Khan required 172 votes to win the confidence vote in the 342-member House. The ruling coalition had 181 members but after the resignation of Faisal Vawda, the number strength dropped to 180, while the opposition coalition has 160 members in the House.
National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar announced the result and said Imran Khan became the Prime Minister of Pakistan after securing 176 votes in August 2018, and “MashAllah today he has got 178 votes.”
The House erupted in jubilation by the members, who shouted slogans “Prime Minister Imran Khan”.
The prime minister arrived at the National Assembly before the commencement of the 30th session. The proceedings with Speaker Asad Qaiser in the chair, began with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, and the National Anthem was played.
This is the first time that a prime minister has gone for a vote of confidence after the passage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tabled a resolution in the House, and the Speaker read out the details of the process for the members. Bells were rung for five minutes and the Speaker read out the resolution, triggering a long thumping of the desks.
The five-vote victory in the Federal Capital’s Senate election brought the defining moment in the otherwise battle of narratives going on for months between the government and the PDM.
“That this House reposes confidence in the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Mr. Imran Khan, as required under clause (7) of Article 91 of the Constitution Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”
The Prime Minister took the vote of confidence under Article 91 (7) of the Constitution of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, thousands of enthusiastic PTI supporters gathered at the D-Chowk – the Parliament Square that got fame after the 126-day sit-in against the PML-N government, to express solidarity with their leader.
Enthusiastic workers raised slogans against the corrupt mafia and particularly what they said was the “despicable” use of dirty money for purchase of votes for the Senate polls.
Raising slogans of Pakistan Zindabad and “we stand with Imran Khan”, the charged crowd danced to popular songs as they heard about the success of “The Kaptaan” in the crucial vote of confidence.
The PTI workers had gathered, without any formal call from the leadership as they followed the hashtags #ڈٹ_کے_کھڑا_ہے_کپتان [Captain stands firm], #BehindYouSkipper, #PrimeMinisterImranKhan, #VoteOfConfidence, #DChowk, #ہم_سب_کا_فیصلہ_عمران_خان