Breaking: Imran Khan loses Supreme Court battle, faces no-trust vote on Saturday

Islamabad [Pakistan]: In a setback for Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, the country’s Supreme Court on Thursday set aside the rejection of the no-confidence motion moved by the Opposition against his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in the National Assembly.

The court also set aside subsequent steps including the dissolution of the National Assembly and fixed 10 am on April 9 as the date for the no-confidence vote, local media reported.

According to Pakistan’s Samaa News, a bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan declared the Deputy Speaker’s ruling on the no-confidence vote unconstitutional in a unanimous judgment.

The court set aside the ruling and the steps taken after it including the dissolution of the National Assembly, the report said.

According to Geo News, Pakistan Supreme Court said the Prime Minister was bound by Constitution and “therefore, he could not advise the president to dissolve assemblies”.

If Mr. Khan loses, he will be the first Prime Minister to be removed through a no-trust vote. Two other Prime Ministers against whom a no-confidence motion was called, had resigned before the vote, but Mr. Khan had refused to step down, insisting that he would “play till the last ball”.

On Sunday, the no-trust motion against Imran Khan’s government was dismissed by Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, who called it against the Constitution and rules of Pakistan.

Minutes later, Mr. Khan had called for fresh elections and advised the President for the dissolution of the Assembly. The fresh election was to be held within 90 days.

After the Supreme Court’s decision today,  Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), tweeted, “Democracy is the best revenge! Jiya Bhutto! Jiya Awam! Pakistan Zindabad”

Mr. Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party effectively lost the majority in the 342-member assembly last week when a key coalition partner said its seven lawmakers would vote with the opposition. More than a dozen lawmakers from the ruling party also indicated that they would cross the floor.

Mr. Khan had claimed that it was a “conspiracy” against his government that was engineered by the US. The opposition, he alleged, was conspiring with Washington to remove him because he would not take the side of the US and Europe on global issues against Russia and China. His party claimed that the legislators who planned to change sides had been bribed.

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