ISLAMABAD (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday sailed through the vote of confidence from the National Assembly, after getting 178 votes (52 percent of total strength), only two days after his party lost a crucial seat in the Senate election.
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 “MashAllah today he has got 178 votes.”
The House erupted in jubilation by the members, who shouted slogans “Pri-me Minister Imran Khan”.
The prime minister arrived at the National Assembly before the commencement of the 30th session. The proceedings with Speaker Asad Qaiser in the chair, began at the scheduled time of 1215 hours with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, and the National Anthem was played.
This is the first time that a prime minister has gone for a vote of confidence after the passage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tabled a resolution in the House, which stated,”This House (National Assembly) 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 of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”
The Speaker then read out the details of the process for the members. As the voting commenced, the Speaker directed that the bells to be rung for five minutes to enable members not present in the House to be present. Immediately after the bells stopped ringing, all the entrances to the lobby were locked.
The Speaker read out the resolution, triggering a long thumping of the desks. He asked the members who wished to vote in favour of the resolution to pass in single file through the entrance where tellers were posted to record the votes. On reaching the desk of the tellers, each member, in turn, called out the division number allotted to him / her under the rules. The tellers then marked off that number on the division list simultaneously calling out the name of the member.
In order to ensure that his / her vote was properly recorded, the member did not move off until he / she had clearly heard the teller call out name, and then returned to the Chamber.
When the Speaker observed that all the members, who wished to vote had recorded their votes, he announced that the voting had concluded. Thereupon the Secretary caused the division list to be collected, counted the recorded votes and presented the result of the count to the Speaker.
The Speaker then directed that the bells to be rung for two minutes to enable the members to return to the Chamber. Then he announced the result that Prime Minister Imran Khan got 178 votes on resolution of confidence.
The five-vote victory for Gilani in the Federal Capital’s Senate election brought the defining moment in the otherwise battle of narratives going on for months between the government and the PDM.