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March 7, 2021

PTM, ANP challenge govt’s claim PM got 178 votes

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March 7, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Opposition leaders Mohsin Dawar MNA and Awami National Party Secretary General Mian Iftikhar Hussain challenged the government claim that 178 votes were cast in favour of Prime Minister Imran Khan during the vote of confidence proceedings on Saturday.

MNA from North Waziristan Mohsin Dawar claimed that the said number of lawmakers were not present in the lower house of the parliament at the time of voting.

The Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader said he would challenge the 178 figure – the number of votes Premier Imran officially secured in Saturday’s session – demanding an investigation into the matter.

“This should be investigated through video footage to ascertain as to how many MNAs were genuinely present in the House and whose vote was counted as a formality,” said Dawar, who was the only opposition lawmaker present in the assembly.

Separately, Awami National Party (ANP) Secretary General Mian Iftikhar Hussain said the number given by the government appeared to be false, and an investigation should be carried out how the prime minister secured 178 votes on Saturday.

He said the total number of the PTI and its allied parties MNAs is 180. Faisal Vawda has tendered resignation, Daska election declared null, an independent MNA didn’t show up in the House, NA speaker doesn’t cast his vote, four MNAs of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) were also not present.

It totalled eight, and after subtracting eight from 180, the number of MNAs should be 172, who cast their votes. Then how did the government claim that 178 votes were cast in PM’s favour, asked the ANP leader. He said an investigation should be carried out into the matter.

However, the Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen), in its factsheet, said the premier received 178 votes in his favour during Saturday’s session.

"164 (48%) lawmakers were present at the outset and 178 (52%) at adjournment of the sitting," it said.

Fafen said that parliamentary leaders from BAP, GDA, AML-P, PML-Q, MQM-P and JWP as well as five minority lawmakers attended the session.