After months of uncertainty in Pakistan over a no-trust motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, the die has been cast. The opposition wants the National Assembly to reconvene and then the no-confidence motion submitted by it to be taken up. As per the Constitution, a session of the lower house can be called if at least 25 per cent of the members sign a petition; the opposition says it has furnished signatures of around 140 members. The house strength is 342. The Speaker has 14 days to summon the house. To be put to vote, a petition needs to have the signatures of at least 20 per cent of the members of the house, which means at least 68 members must be on board. Once the house convenes, the no-confidence motion is to be circulated on the next working day. From the day it is moved, the motion has to be put to vote between the third and seventh day, as per the rules. If the PM has the support of 172 members, the no-confidence motion is defeated. Else, the government falls. Imran Khan says he has the numbers and has said his ‘first target’ after the motion is defeated (which he claims) will be Asif Ali Zardari of the PPP. Khan has alleged that Zardari has been bribing parliamentarians from the ruling coalition to ditch the government. Expect more fireworks in the run-up to the vote.
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