Islamabad, March 6: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday secured a vote of confidence in the National Assembly (NA) or the lower house of Parliament, dashing the opposition’s hopes to challenge the legitimacy of the incumbent government.
According to NA Speaker Asad Qaiser said a total of 178 lawmakers of the 340-member house voted in Khan’s favour, Xinhua news agency reported.
To secure the vote, 172 ballots are required.
While announcing the result, Speaker Asad Qaiser said that Khan had been elected to the post of Prime Minister in 2018 with 176 votes, and “today, he has secured 178 votes”.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tabled the resolution in the lower house to seek the vote of confidence for Khan who needed a simple majority to retain his seat, in the session summoned by President Arif Alvi.
Khan sought the vote of confidence in a televised address to the nation on Thursday after witnessing the shocking defeat of a ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate in the Senate polls held on Monday.
The premier announced the decision after some of his party members in the Senate voted for Yousaf Raza Gilani, the joint opposition’s nominee for Islamabad, over the PTI’s Abdul Hafeez Sheikh.
Khan slammed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for failing to hold fair and transparent Senate elections, accusing them for allegedly protecting those who made money by holding Senate elections through secret ballot.
Before Saturday’s session began at 12.15 p.m., dozens of PTI supporters have gathered outside the Parliament Lodges, holding up banners and chanting slogans in support of the Prime Minister.
During a meeting a day ahead of the session, 175 out of 179 government lawmakers assured Khan that they would give him the vote of confidence, said the Dawn news report.