Pakistan: Setback to PM Imran Khan as SC declares dismissal of no-confidence motion as unconstitutional; orders for trust vote tomorrow
In a setback for Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, the country’s Supreme Court has ruled that the rejection of the no-confidence motion by the Deputy Speaker in the National Assembly was unconstitutional.
A five-judge bench of the Pakistan Supreme Court delivered the unanimous verdict yesterday. The court also ordered the reinstatement of the National Assembly in contravention of President Arif Alvi’s decision to dissolve the lower house of Pakistan’s Parliament and declared the order of fresh elections null and void. In addition, the top court ruled that the National Assembly session on the no-confidence motion must be held tomorrow, April 9, and must not be adjourned until a vote on the motion.
The court reinstated the National Assembly, as well as declared that the Prime Minister and Federal Ministers, Ministers of State, Advisers, etc, stand restored to their respective offices as of April 3. The Apex Court said that if Imran Khan is removed as a result of the no-confidence motion, the new leader of the house should be elected in the same session.
After the court’s decision, Prime Minister Imran Khan called a cabinet meeting today and also announced plans to address the nation.
If Imran Khan loses, he will be the first Prime Minister of Pakistan to be removed through a no-trust vote. Two other Prime Ministers against whom a no-confidence motion was called, resigned before the vote.
Last Sunday, minutes before the voting was to be held for the no-trust motion against the government, Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri dismissed the motion saying the motion was against the Constitution and cited security issues. Closely followed the Prime Minister’s call for fresh elections and advice to the President to dissolve the Assembly.
The Opposition parties then challenged the Speaker’s decision in the Supreme Court.