PM Khan gone: Pakistan’s political crisis explained in 400 words
Khan became the first PM in Pakistan’s history to be sent packing through a vote of no confidence.
Imran Khan’s term as prime minister of Pakistan ended on Sunday following days of constitutional chaos that left him with no choice but to resign or be voted out of office.
The Pakistani parliament’s lower house will meet on Monday to vote for a new acting prime minister.
This is the first time a no-confidence motion against a prime minister of Pakistan has been successful.
How was Khan deposed by a no-confidence vote?
Khan was voted out in parliament days after he blocked a similar attempt.
The no-confidence motion, which required 172 votes in the 342-seat parliament to pass, was supported by 174 parliamentarians.
The passing of the motion came after the country’s Supreme Court ruled Khan, who came to power in 2018, acted unconstitutionally in previously blocking the process and dissolving parliament.
In a landmark verdict late on Thursday, the court restored the house that was dissolved by President Arif Alvi on Khan’s recommendation.
Khan has alleged the opposition colluded with the United States to unseat him and called on his supporters to stage nationwide rallies on Sunday.
Since independence in 1947, no Pakistani prime minister has completed a five-year term in office in the country.
What led to leader Khan’s downfall?
Khan’s political demise was rooted in twin new realities. Inside parliament, his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party had lost the support of coalition allies, denying him the majority he needed to defeat the vote of no confidence.
Outside parliament, Khan appeared to lose the support of Pakistan’s powerful military, which the opposition alleged helped him win the 2018 general election. They had recently publicly fallen out over senior military appointments and policy decisions.
In recent weeks, as the principal opposition parties – the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) – ramped up their efforts to dislodge Khan, coalition allies became vocal in their dissatisfaction with him.
Meanwhile, a deepening economic crisis contributed to dissatisfaction with Khan with double-digit inflation dogging much of his term.
Who will be Pakistan’s next PM?
Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is widely expected to replace Khan.
The 70-year-old is little known outside his country but has a reputation domestically as an effective administrator more than as a politician.
In an interview last week, he said good relations with the United States were critical for Pakistan for better or for worse, in stark contrast to Khan’s recently antagonistic relationship with Washington.