Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday successfully obtained a vote of confidence from the National Assembly by securing 180 votes.
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, the chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party and the foreign minister, tabled the resolution, on which 180 Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) voted yes and showed their confidence meanwhile 174 member opposed when Shehbaz was elected as the prime minister in April last year.
The development to seek vote of confidence comes days after the National Assembly rejected a Elections Funds bill tabled by the government for providing funds to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for holding polls in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It was perhaps the first time in the country’s history that a funds bill was rejected by the lower house of parliament.
After securing the vote of confidence, the premier expressed gratitude to the lawmakers who voted for him. He also went up to the seat of Opposition Leader Raja Riaz of the PTI to greet him.
Premier Address with NA
While addressing floor of the National Assembly after securing a confidence vote, the prime minister thanked the coalition partners for reposing their trust in his leadership.
“Today, Pakistan is facing serious challenges […] Pakistan’s economy was prospering before the 2018 elections,” he said while blaming the previous PTI-led government for the prevailing economic crisis.
The “entire world” is aware of how RTS was compromised and the 2018 election results were manipulated. Former chief justice Saqib Nisar ordered to stop the recounting of votes when we challenged the election results.
When talks were progressing with International Monetary Fund (IMF), the two assemblies were dissolved at the orders of Imran Khan to create difficulties for the government.
Referring to the PTI chief’s ‘foreign conspiracy’ narrative, PM Shehbaz said the government is importing cheap Russian oil “which will arrive soon in the country”.
He said had his government been formed as a result of a foreign-backed conspiracy, it would not have imported oil from Russia.
“Today, the decisions of parliament are being challenged. It is not possible that a court stops the implementation of a law which has not been enacted yet,” he said, taking about the top court’s decision to stop the implementation of the bill seeking to curb the chief justice’s powers.
“We don’t accept the decision of a three-member bench. We accept the decision of a majority of four judges,” he said while referring to the Punjab elections delay case verdict of the Supreme Court.
The ruling parties have decided to hold negotiations with PTI in Senate and we will send our representatives in this regard today, but talks will be held only on holding polls across the country simultaneously.