After Imran Khan’s candidate Abdul Hafeez Shaikh lost to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) nominee Yousuf Raza Gillani in Senate elections, the Pakistani Prime Minister announced to seek a vote of confidence from the National Assembly on Saturday.
Imran is not the first Pakistani Prime Minister to face a vote of confidence in the National Assembly.
In fact, under the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, all prime ministers of Pakistan, from 1985 to 2008, received a vote of confidence from the National Assembly. These included the late Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif, Mir Zafarullah Jamali, Chaudhry Shujaat, Shaukat Aziz, and Yousuf Raza Gilani, reported Geo News.
But Imran Khan is also the second in the history of Pakistan who has sought a ‘voluntary’ vote of confidence.
Prior to it, Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had sought a voluntary vote of confidence from the National Assembly after his reinstatement was granted by the Supreme Court in 1993.
In 2009, the 18th Amendment removed the provision for a vote of confidence from the Constitution.
Muhammad Khan Junejo was the first prime minister in the parliamentary history of the country to receive a vote of confidence from the National Assembly, which he received on March 24, 1985, under General Zia-ul-Haq’s Revival of Constitution of 1973 Order (RCO), reported Geo News.
Under the RCO, the president appoints the prime minister at their discretion and the prime minister must obtain a vote of confidence from the National Assembly within 60 days of their appointment.
Pakistan’s Constitution states that if the president feels that the prime minister has lost the confidence of the majority of the parliament’s members, then he will direct him to seek a vote of confidence and this vote is taken through an open ballot.
Imran Khan, under all circumstances, must have the support of a simple majority of 172 lawmakers in the National Assembly, according to Article 91(7) of the Constitution. However, since the NA-75 seat lies vacant after its by-election results were nullified by the Election Commission of Pakistan, he will need the support of 171, reported The News International.