03.04.2022: Mogadishu, Somalia
Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, will seek early elections after the Deputy Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly threw out the no-confidence resolution, stating the vote is “unconstitutional”.
The Deputy Speaker went on to accuse “foreign powers” of attempting to intervene in Pakistan’s democratic process. Minutes later, PM Khan went on national television to say he would ask Pakistan’s president to dissolve parliament and call early elections.
Pakistan’s constitution calls for the establishment of an interim government to see the country toward elections, which are to be held within 90 days.
“I ask people to prepare for the next elections. Thank God, a conspiracy to topple the government has failed,” Khan said in his address.
His opponents, meanwhile, have branded the decision by the parliament’s deputy speaker, a member of the leader’s political party, to throw out their no-confidence challenge illegal and vowed to go to the Supreme Court.
Pakistani legal analyst have pointed that while the Prime Minister would not have the power to ask the President to dissolve the National Assembly if the motion of no-confidence was brought to the Assembly, the Deputy Speaker rejected the motion, the Prime Minister is within his legal right to dissolve National Assembly and hold elections.
The only option left for Pakistan’s opposition is to file a petition at the Pakistani Supreme Court against the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Prime Minister.
‘A Conspiracy to Topple’
Pakistani PM Imran Khan ‘accidentally’ named the United States as the culprit when he claimed “a foreign country I can’t name” was eager to see him removed from his post via a no-confidence vote.
“America has – oh, not America but a foreign country I can’t name” sent the leader the message in an effort to meddle in his country’s politics, Khan said in a televised address on Thursday, after a no-confidence vote against him was rescheduled.
Khan had received a briefing letter from the Pakistani ambassador to the US that included a recording of a senior official from Washington implying the relationship between the two countries would improve in Khan’s absence, local media reported on Thursday.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price insisted there was “no truth” to the allegations, stating Washington was “closely following developments in Pakistan” but that it “respect[ed] and support[ed] Pakistan’s constitutional process and the rule of law.”
‘Refusal to bow down’
Khan has refused to bow to American pressure and condemn Russia for sending troops into Ukraine, arguing Pakistan had nothing to gain by such a move. However, this has made him a target for the US and its allies, who are already upset that neighbouring India has also refused to join their sanctions campaign against Moscow.
Similarly, Saudi Arabia has declined requests from the United States to increase its production of oil in order to reduce gasoline prices, instead sticking to an agreement not to pump more oil than the output decided last year by OPEC and Russia.
U.S. President Joe Biden has repeatedly called on Gulf countries to pump more oil to reduce gasoline prices and the calls have grown as oil prices threaten to go higher amid a Russian troop build-up along the Ukrainian border, only falling to deaf ears.
Is the U.S. losing influence?
Many non-Western countries have refused to side with the NATO on the conflict in Ukraine. Powerhouse economies including India and China have refused to condemn Russia, rather sending aid to Ukraine and supporting a diplomatic solution to conflict rather than providing arms to Ukraine.
The U.S. seems to have failed to relay international support against Russia as many key U.S. partners including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have refused to outright make moves that favoured U.S. policy in Ukraine.
In Africa, 49% or 26 out of 54 African countries refused to condemn Russia at the U.N. Assembly last month.
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