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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan ousted after no-confidence vote

By Calley Hair
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan ousted after no-confidence vote
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, pictured at the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Feb. 24, 2021, was ousted by a no-confidence vote early Sunday. File Photo by Chamila Karunarathne/EPA-EFE

April 9 (UPI) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted from power after losing a unanimous no-confidence vote in Parliament early Sunday.

Opposition parties introduced the motion against Khan after midnight -- he lost the vote 174-0. Parliament will convene on Monday to appoint a new interim leader to serve until the next election in October 2023, BBC reported.

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Khan will likely be replaced by Pakistan opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of former three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Al Jazeera reported.

The ouster marked the first time a no-confidence motion against a prime minister of Pakistan has ever proved successful. Khan had previously blocked another no-confidence vote on April 3 by dissolving Parliament, but the country's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the move was unconstitutional.

Speaker Asad Qaiser, tasked by the court to preside over Sunday's vote, instead resigned.

Khan had previously instructed his supporters on Friday to participate in rallies and protests across the country in anticipation of his loss. He also accused his opponents of colluding with the U.S. government to remove him from power. U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price told Bloomberg there was "no truth" to the allegations.

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"I will not accept an imported government," Khan said in the televised address. "I'm ready for a struggle."

Khan rose to power in 2018, building a coalition of military leaders and allies in Parliament. But his term, which was supposed to last five years, was plagued by a sluggish economy linked to COVID-19 and ongoing government corruption.

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