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Imran Khan: Pakistan’s highest court says blocking vote of no confidence in PM unconstitutional

The Supreme Court handed down the unanimous ruling after a special procedure that spanned four days as Khan and his loyalist president Arif Alvi sped up a process to launch a snap election. The Supreme Court also overturned Khan’s order to dissolve parliament and call a snap election, calling it “without legal effect”.

A vote of confidence for Khan will now take place on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. local time (1:30 a.m. ET).

Khan had called the election in a dramatic bid to cling on to power after the deputy speaker of parliament blocked a no-confidence vote against him last Sunday that looked almost certain to succeed.

Vice President Qasim Khan Suri said he acted to prevent a “foreign conspiracy” to overthrow the Khan regime.

The move, and Khan’s subsequent dissolution of parliament, infuriated an opposition that for months had demanded his removal over allegations of poor governance and economic mismanagement.

The opposition responded by charging Khan with treason and asking the nation’s highest court to rule on whether the prime minister had breached the constitution.

The court battle is the latest escalation in a crisis that has been brewing for weeks, with Khan having already lost the support of key political allies and the country’s powerful military.

Military spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar distanced the country’s military from the developments in a statement on Sunday, insisting it was not involved in what is “purely a political situation.” “.

Pakistan, a nation of 220 million people, has struggled with political instability since its formation in 1947 with multiple regime changes and military coups. No prime minister has ever completed a full five-year term under the current 1973 constitution.

The country’s main opposition parties have been mobilizing for the removal of Khan since he came to power in 2018 after an election mired in accusations of voter fraud and foul play.

More recently, he has been dogged by allegations of economic mismanagement as his government battles depleted foreign exchange reserves and double-digit inflation, with the cost of basic necessities such as food and fuel which are soaring.

Khan’s response was to double down on his claims that opposition to him is fueled by the United States. He presented no evidence to support his claims, and the State Department denied the allegations.

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