Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Calls For Early Elections

Security guards patrol the parliament building in Islamabad on April 3, 2022.

It is a dramatic turn of events, but it is not certain that the carefully planned maneuver will save the Pakistani prime minister. Imran Khan, who has lost his majority in the National Assembly in recent days due to the defection of his allies as well as members of his own party, called early elections on Sunday, April 3. MPs are said to consider a vote of no confidence tabled by the opposition aimed at destroying cricket’s past glory when National Assembly deputy speaker Qasim Suri, one of his loyalists, refused to register it for the vote and declared the motion unconstitutional because it was supported by a “foreign power”.

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A few minutes later, in a speech to the nation, Khan said he was the victim of an international conspiracy and announced that he was asking the president of the republic to dissolve the National Assembly and hold general elections. “Prepare for elections. No corrupt power will determine the future of the country. The people decide who they want in power’ he claimed.

Re-legitimize yourself at the ballot box

The President of the Republic, Arif Alvi, was casually executed. The House of Representatives was dissolved. The Prime Minister must expedite day-to-day business until the elections are held within a maximum period of 90 days, i.e. one year before the normal deadline – the general election was scheduled for spring 2023.

Astonished, the opposition decided to address the Supreme Court, which could investigate the matter as early as Monday, April 4. “This date will be remembered as a black day in Pakistan’s constitutional history. Democracy has been hit and damaged in a very, very cruel way.” lamented Shahbaz Sharif, leader of Pakistan’s Muslim League and who was identified as the favorite to replace Imran Khan in case the no-confidence vote was passed.

At the age of 69, the latter, who escapes the humiliation of a vote of no confidence, hopes to regain his legitimacy through the ballot box. The operation is risky. He came to power in 2018 with the support of the military and has failed to deliver on his promises to revive the economy for the benefit of the poor, create jobs for young people and end the endemic corruption that plagues the country. , so as not to resort to external loans. Pakistan has been weakened by a severe economic crisis, marked by unemployment and record inflation (more than 12% this year), especially in food and energy, a weakening rupee and crushing debt. The poor and the middle class are the first victims.

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