Nomination Deadline for Prime Minister of Pakistan; Supporters of the ousted Khan were expected to protest


ISLAMABAD, April 10 (Reuters) – Candidates for Pakistan’s next prime minister are due to file nomination papers on Sunday after incumbent Imran Khan lost a no-confidence motion in parliament, ending nearly four years in the power of the former cricket star.

Khan hung on for almost a week after a united opposition first tried to unseat him, succeeding in postponing a no-confidence motion, which he said was part of a foreign-backed plot against him, and dissolving parliament.

But the Supreme Court ordered parliament to meet and hold the vote, and Khan’s government collapsed early Sunday after a 13-hour session that included repeated delays and lengthy speeches by lawmakers from his Pakistan Tehreek-e-party. unsaf.

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The vote took place after powerful army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa met with Khan, said two sources who declined to be identified, as criticism mounted over the delay in the parliamentary process.

The military has ruled the nuclear-armed country of 220 million people for nearly half of its nearly 75-year history.

Opposition parties were able to secure 174 votes in the 342-member chamber for the motion of no confidence, giving them the majority they needed.

Parliament will meet on Monday to choose a new prime minister. Nomination papers must be submitted by 11:00 am (06:00 GMT) on Sunday.

Khan has not publicly commented on his ouster, but even before the vote, he called for protests.

“I am going to fight,” he said in an address to the nation on Friday.

“I am telling all my supporters across Pakistan that on Sunday, after Isha (evening) prayers, everyone should come out of their homes and peacefully protest against this imported government that is trying to come to power.”

‘NEW DAWN’

The favorite to become Pakistan’s next prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, said Khan’s departure was an opportunity for a new beginning.

“A new dawn has begun… This alliance will rebuild Pakistan,” Sharif, 70, told parliament on Sunday.

Sharif, the younger brother of three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was for years the chief minister of Punjab province and has a reputation as an efficient administrator. read more

His first tasks will be to repair relations with the mighty military and key US ally, and tend to a faltering economy.

The military viewed Khan and his conservative agenda favorably when he won election in 2018, but that support faded after a spat over the appointment of the influential military intelligence chief and economic woes that led to the biggest interest-rate hike in the country. decades this week. read more

Khan had opposed the United States throughout his tenure, welcoming the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan last year and, more recently, accusing the United States of being behind the attempt to overthrow him. Washington dismissed the charge.

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Reporting by Asif Shahzad, Syed Reza Hassan and Gibran Naiyyar Peshimam in Islamabad Written by Alasdair Pal Edited by Robert Birsel

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



Reference-www.reuters.com

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