Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan unseated after vote of no-confidence

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has been toppled from power as the country’s leader after a vote of no confidence over allegations of economic mismanagement and misusage of the country’s foreign policy, giving rise to an end to his term in office.

The parliamentary vote, held Sunday, saw the former cricket star overthrown.
The opposition needed a minimum of 172 votes out of the 342 member assembly to oust him.

The vote of no confidence was supported by an alliance of politicians including more than a dozen defectors from Khan’s own political party.

The vote took place after Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday a decision to obstruct a previous vote of no confidence against Khan over allegations of economic mismanagement was unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court in it’s decision also suppressed Khan’s earlier order to crumble parliament and call for early elections, calling it of “no legal effect.”

The speaker of the National Assembly will now send a notice to Khan and call for a fresh session of parliament to elect a new prime minister.

Speaking in an address to the nation Friday night, Khan reiterated unverified claims the vote of no confidence was the result of a “foreign conspiracy” connected to the United States.

According to Khan, he had been singled out by the US because, unlike his opponents, he couldn’t “easily be used as a puppet by the West,” with regard to an independent foreign policy. He said he was not anti-American but would not let his nation “be used as a tissue paper” in a “one-sided relationship.”

Furthermore, he called for nationwide protests Sunday against what he claimed was an attempt to “install” a new government by “foreign powers.”

In the same vein, the US State Department on Thursday published a statement saying there was “no truth” to Khan’s claims of interference.

“We are closely following developments in Pakistan, and we respect, we support Pakistan’s constitutional process and the rule of law, but when it comes to those allegations, there is no truth to them,” the statement said.

Sunday’s vote captioned the latest escalation in a crisis smoldering for weeks, with Khan already having lost the support of key political allies and the country’s powerful military.

A nation of 220 million, Pakistan has battled with political instability since its formation in 1947, with multiple regime changes and military coups. No prime minister has ever finished a full five-year term under the present constitution of 1973.

Khan’s removal comes just short of four years in office and there are now concerns it could heighten the risk of political instability in the South Asian nation.

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