Even if no-trust succeeds, PM Imran will hold office until new leader elected: Rashid

Published April 2, 2022
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid at a media talk in Islamabad today. —DawnNewsTV
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid at a media talk in Islamabad today. —DawnNewsTV

Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid on Saturday revealed that even if the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan succeeds, the premier will continue to hold office until a new leader is sworn in.

At a media talk in Islamabad, he referred to Article 94 of the Constitution — related to the prime minister continuing in office — which states, "The President may ask the Prime Minister to continue to hold office until his successor enters upon the office of Prime Minister."

Rashid pointed out that the Constitution was silent on how long the process of electing a new leader of the lower house should take after a no-trust vote succeeds.

The opposition, last month, tabled a no-trust motion against PM Imran in the National Assembly. The voting on the motion is expected to take place on Sunday after the previous session was adjourned.

Talking about it on Saturday, Rashid touted that the no-confidence move was a "foreign conspiracy" and accused the opposition of being a part of it. "They should be charged for treason," he demanded.

Three options

He proposed three options to counter the motion. "First and foremost, the establishment should intervene and call for early elections immediately either after Ramazan or Haj."

The next option, the minister said, was that the three main parties — PML-N, PPP, and JUI-F — that brought the motion, should be banned and an inquiry should be initiated against them.

Rashid's third option was an advice to PTI members. "Resign from all the assemblies."

He said that politics in the country was changing every second and reiterated his support to Imran Khan.

"The opposition is stuck. Imran Khan has gained stardom from this fiasco. We [the PTI government] have flaws too. But I can say for sure that people don't even want to see their [opposition] faces."

The minister added that he was adamant to expose the "stooges" and announced a political war against the opposition.

Opposition's upper hand

Earlier this week, in a surprise move, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), previously a key ally of the PTI-led coalition government, formally announced that it was joining the opposition ranks.

After pulling out the seven-member MQM-P, the opposition parties have managed to cross the magical figure of 172 — the minimum number required to form the government at the Centre — and now enjoy the support of 177 members in the National Assembly even without nearly over a dozen dissidents of the ruling PTI, who had already publicly declared the withdrawal of their support to the prime minister.

In a media talk after Thursday's session of the NA, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the opposition alliance had successfully managed to the bring over 175 members in the Parliament.

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