PM Imran Khan wins vote of confidence amid Opp’s boycott

Gets 178 votes in a relaxed, easy-going House: Vows to continue fight against corrupt politicians

By: News Desk      Published: 10:48 AM, 6 Mar, 2021
PM Imran Khan wins vote of confidence amid Opp’s boycott

Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday won the vote of confidence from the National Assembly in a relaxed and easy-going atmosphere as the Opposition parties completely boycotted the session by terming it “fake”, reported 24NewsHD TV channel. 

Imran Khan got 178 votes from the House, only two days after his party lost a crucial seat in the Senate election from Islamabad.

The opposition alliance chose to stay away from the process and watched the proceedings from the Sindh House. The joint eleven-party alliance under the banner of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) won a general seat for the Senate for former prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani against the ruling party candidate, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, with a five-vote victory.

Imran Khan required 172 votes to win the confidence vote in the 342-member House. The ruling coalition had 181 members but after the resignation of Faisal Vawda, the number strength dropped to 180, while the opposition coalition has 160 members in the House.

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar announced the result and said Imran Khan became the Prime Minister of Pakistan after securing 176 votes in August 2018, and “Mash’Allah today he has got 178 votes.”

The House erupted in jubilation by the members, who shouted slogans “Prime Minister Imran Khan”.

This is the first time that a prime minister has gone for a vote of confidence after the passage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment.

Imran Khan’s speech of thanks

Later addressing the House, Imran Khan said corruption was the biggest problem for the country, and his government would support

the judiciary and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for convicting the corrupt politicians.

"The society has to fight against corruption and decide it will not allow corruption. We have to raise our moral standards to fight the menace,

and create a fair and just society."

The prime minister sought the support of society in the fight against corruption to save the future generations from the corrupt politicians, who had been looting the country for the last 30 years.

He said Pakistan was not made for the billionaires like Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari. The latter was known as a corrupt person and the former was declared a proclaimed offender following he left the country after looting the public wealth.

Nawaz Sharif, who went abroad on medical grounds, was now making political plans and delivering speeches from there, he added.

Imran Khan said both Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari, while in government, plundered public money and took the country's debt from Rs6,000 billion to Rs30,000 billion.

The corruption cases against the two persons were made in the previous regimes, he remarked.

He said Yousaf Raza Gilani (as prime minister) refused to write a letter to the Swiss authorities on the court's orders for the recovery of $60 billion stashed in the bank accounts of Switzerland. Now the thieves and corrupt

elements were trying to put pressure on him to get an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance), but he would continue his fight against them, he stated.

The prime minister thanked his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and allies for their support. The PTI would emerge stronger after the present difficult time, he added.

Sheikh Rashid counts Imran’s feats

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said that salaried persons were facing difficulties to run their daily affairs and the government would have to work hard for uplift of poor during its remaining period.

Speaking at the floor of National Assembly after vote of confidence, Sheikh Rashid said that Prime Minister Imran Khan would have to work for the uplift of the poor as he did in the past. He said Rs200 billion have been disbursed during the tenure of Imran Khan among poor under Ehsaas programme.

The minister said that Imran Khan did unprecedented work to uplift the economy during last two and half years and reduced the total debt and liabilities.

He said that salaried persons were facing difficulties to run their daily affairs and the government would have to work hard for uplift of poor during its remaining period.

MQM-P, GDA felicitate PM

Coalition partners of the federal government extended their felicitation to Prime Minister Imran Khan for securing the vote of confidence from the National Assembly.

Taking the floor, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, congratulating PM Khan, said they reposed their confidence in Imran Khan on time now he should give confidence to the nation.

He assured PM Imran Khan of their support as a coalition partner and hoped that the promises he made with the nation will be delivered.

Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) leader Dr Fehmida Mirza extended her felicitation to the prime minister for securing more votes.

"We will stand firmly united with the government, whenever there is a matter to secure democracy."

She said that we should jointly work to strengthen the Parliament. Dr Mirza urged the need for reforms in the electoral, judicial and police system of the country.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi tabled a resolution in the House, and the Speaker read out the details of the process for the members. Bells were rung for five minutes and the Speaker read out the resolution, triggering a long thumping of the desks.

The Resolution:

“That this House reposes confidence in the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Mr Imran Khan, as required under clause (7) of Article 91 of the Constitution Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”

Speaker National Assembly and the PTI lawmakers congratulated the prime minister on winning the vote of confidence.

The National Assembly session started at 12:15pm with recitation from Holy Quran and Naat.

Imran Khan needed 172 MNAs to make the vote of confidence successful and PTI leaders claimed that 179 lawmakers were present in the House.

Imran Khan had warned the party lawmakers a day earlier that anyone skipping the Assembly session would risk disqualification. He ordered all the legislators not to leave the federal capital until the votes was over.

According to observers, the ruling PTI would be more concerned about the presence of all its members in the House as the Opposition parties have announced a boycott of the proceedings.

Moonis Elahi

Talking to newsmen outside Parliament, PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi said “Insha’Allah, Imran Khan will be triumphant today.”

National Assembly procedure

“In exercise of powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 54 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the President has been pleased to summon the National Assembly to meet in the Parliament Building, Islamabad on Saturday, 6 March 2021 at 12:15 pm for the purpose of requiring the Prime Minister to obtain the vote of confidence from the National Assembly under Article 91(7) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” the notification issued in this regard said.

The procedure for vote of confidence on Prime Minister has been clearly defined in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in National Assembly 2007 which states to record the voting procedure set out in the Second Schedule.

The Rule 36 of the Rules of Procedure regarding the vote of confidence in the Prime Minister says ”Whenever the Prime Minister has to obtain a vote of confidence under clause (7) of Article 91, voting shall be recorded in accordance with the procedure set out in the Second Schedule.

The clause (7) of Article 91 of the Constitution of Pakistan states that Prime Minister shall hold office during the pleasure of the President, but the President shall not exercise his powers under this clause unless he is satisfied that the Prime Minister does not command the confidence of the majority of the members of the National Assembly, in which case he shall summon the National Assembly and require the Prime Minister to obtain a vote of confidence from the Assembly.

Second Schedule about procedure for recording of Votes states that before voting commences, the Speaker shall direct that the bells be rung for five minutes to enable members not present in the Chamber to be present.

Immediately after the bells stop ringing, all the entrances to the lobby shall be locked and the Assembly staff posted at each entrance shall not allow any entry or exit through those entrances until the voting has concluded.

The Speaker shall then read out the resolution before the Assembly and ask the members who wish to vote in favour of the resolution to pass in single file through the entrance where tellers shall be posted to record the votes.

On reaching the desk of the tellers, each member shall, in turn, call out the division number allotted to him under the rules. The tellers shall then mark off his number on the division list simultaneously calling out the name of the member.

In order to ensure that his vote has been properly recorded, the member shall not move off until he has clearly heard the teller call out his name. After a member has recorded his vote, he shall not return to the Chamber until bells are rung under paragraph.

When the Speaker finds that all the members who wished to vote have recorded their votes, he shall announce that the voting has concluded.

Thereupon the Secretary shall cause the division list to be collected, count the recorded votes and present the result of the count to the Speaker. The Speaker shall then direct that the bells be rung for two minutes to enable the members to return to the Chamber. After the bells stop ringing, the Speaker shall announce the result to the Assembly.