PM Imran Khan will address the nation at 7:30 pm tonight (Thursday) seeking a vote of confidence. According to the Prime Minister Office, PM will take the nation into confidence on the prevailing political situation in the country.
Meanwhile, a session of the National Assembly has been summoned for Saturday. PM will seek a vote of confidence in parliament after the government’s finance minister lost his bid for a Senate seat yesterday.
Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry shared the news on Twitter and said that the session will commence at 12:15pm on Saturday.
“Sadiq Sanjrani will be the PTI-backed candidate for the post of the Senate chairman,” he added.
PM’s ruling Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and its allies were bidding to wrest control of Pakistan’s Senate from opposition parties. The Senate elections were indirect and the PTI to 37 seats in the 104-member upper house of parliament.
The loss represents a significant blow to PM Imran and the government. Because the electoral college in Sheikh’s case was the lower house of parliament. It chooses the prime minister of the country and in 2018 handed a majority to PM Imran.
Sheikh is also leading crucial talks with international lender the IMF aimed at stabilising the economy. He can continue as finance minister, however, meaning the political damage is largely symbolic at this stage.
Senate elections & PTI
“PM and his party has reached a decision that Imran Khan will take a vote of confidence from the parliament,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a news conference.
Information Minister Shibli Faraz told Geo News the move was to show PM’s political opponents that he still had the confidence of parliament and it was the “sign of a brave man.”
The Senate contest was designed as a gauge of confidence in PM’s administration, Ahmed Bilal Mehboob told Reuters. He is the head of the independent research organization PILDAT.
Pakistani financial advisory house Topline Securities said in an advisory note that the loss was likely to increase pressure on PTI.
Opposition parties have united behind a mass protest campaign aimed at ousting PM Imran Khan. They called for a dissolution of the government and fresh elections.
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