ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Opposition alliance on Friday announced that they will boycott the floor test of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. The opposition claimed that their candidate’s victory in the Senate election was itself a “no-confidence motion” against the premier.
In a major blow to Imran Khan, Yusuf Raza Gilani, PDM candidate and former prime minister, defeated ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Wednesday. Imran Khan had personally campaigned for his Cabinet colleague Shaikh.
“No Opposition member will attend the National Assembly session scheduled for Saturday, in which Prime Minister Khan will seek a vote of confidence,” said Pakistan Democratic Movement Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
He claimed that President Arif Alvi in his notification to summon Saturday’s session had essentially stated that Prime Minister Khan had “lost the trust of the majority” and he, therefore, needed to seek a vote of confidence.
“So when the president talks about losing trust to call the session of the National Assembly, then this further strengthens the stance of the opposition,” he was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.
The announcement from a 10-party Opposition alliance and the chief of the PDM, comes after Imran Khan delivered an address to the nation in which he explained why he was seeking a vote of confidence in the wake of the Senate elections in which the opposition managed to stage an upset.
Khan needs the support of 171 lawmakers in the National Assembly, currently having 341 members out of total 342, as one seat is vacant.
Khan’s PTI has 157 lawmakers. The Opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has 83 member and the Pakistan Peoples’ Party has 55 lawmakers. PTI leaders have said they are confident that Khan will overcome the floor test.
Minister for Science Fawad Chaudhry said that Khan will easily win the confidence vote as PTI’s woman candidate for Senate, Fouzia Arshad, got 174 votes on Wednesday and won in the house where Shaikh got 164 votes and was defeated.
“The requisite support is available and Khan will easily win,” he said.