In Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan calls for early elections

It’s a dramatic turn of events, but it’s not certain that the meticulously prepared maneuver will save the Pakistani Prime Minister. Imran Khan, who has lost his majority in the National Assembly in recent days, with the defection of his allies but also of members of his own party, provoked early elections on Sunday, April 3. MPs were due to consider a no-confidence motion tabled by the opposition and meant to bring down cricket’s former glory, when National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, one of his loyalists, refused to register it to the vote, declaring the motion unconstitutional because supported by a “foreign power”.

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A few minutes later, in an address to the nation, Mr. 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 organize general elections. anticipated. “Prepare for elections. No corrupt force will decide the future of the country. The people decide who they want in power,” he asserted.

Relegitimize yourself at the ballot box

The President of the Republic, Arif Alvi, executed in stride. The lower house of parliament was dissolved. The Prime Minister should expedite day-to-day business until the election is held within a maximum period of ninety days, i.e. one year before the normal deadline – the general elections were scheduled for spring 2023.

Taken aback, the opposition decided to seize the Supreme Court, which could examine the case as early as Monday, April 4. “This date will be remembered as a black day in the constitutional history of Pakistan. Democracy has been hit and damaged in a very, very brutal way,” deplored Shahbaz Sharif, leader of the Muslim League of Pakistan and who was designated as the favorite to replace Imran Khan in the event of success of the motion of no confidence.

At 69, the latter, escaping the humiliation of a vote of no confidence, hopes to regain his legitimacy through the ballot box. The operation is risky. Coming to power in 2018 with the support of the military, he has not kept his promises to revive the economy in favor of the poor, to create jobs for young people, to put an end to the endemic corruption which is eating away at the country, to not to resort to external loans. Pakistan is weakened by a serious economic crisis, marked by unemployment and record inflation (more than 12% this year), particularly in food and energy, a weakening of the rupee and crushing debt. The poor and the middle classes are the first victims.

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