Pakistani PM secures vote of confidence from NA

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday successfully secured a vote of confidence from the National Assembly (NA), or the lower house of the country's parliament, NA Speaker Asad Qaiser said.

A total of 178 lawmakers of the 342-seat NA that currently has 340 members, voted in Khan's favor, said Qaiser, which "had surpassed the 172 votes that the prime minister needed" to obtain the confidence.

Qaiser said Khan got two votes more than in 2018 when he was elected as the prime minister by the members of the NA.

The country's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tabled the resolution in the lower house of the parliament to seek the vote of confidence for Khan in the NA session summoned by the Pakistani president.

The opposition boycotted the session, calling it controversial, due to which their benches remained vacant.

According to the country's constitution, the president calls a special NA session when assuming that the prime minister lost confidence of the majority of the lawmakers of the lower house. However, in Khan's case, he himself requested the president to call the session.

The Pakistani prime minister "volunteered" to seek the vote of confidence, after his ruling party supported Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh lost to the candidate of the opposition alliance for a senate seat, in a close contest despite the ruling party's majority in the lower house earlier on Wednesday.

According to local media, though the ruling party won most of the senate seats during the election, making it the largest party in the upper house of the parliament, yet Sheikh's defeat was termed as an "upset" by local analysts and opposition alliance.

The opposition demanded the prime minister to resign, and also hinted at bringing a no-confidence motion against him, following the senate election, making Khan to make a move to voluntarily opt for the vote of confidence to show his majority in the national assembly despite losing the senate seat.

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