World Politics

Pakistani PM wins vote of confidence amidst opposition protest, boycott

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Shopkeepers listen to Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing the nation on television, in Karachi on March 4, 2021, after Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced that Khan would seek a confidence vote in the National Assembly.
ASIF HASSAN | AFP via Getty Images

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan won a vote of confidence from parliament on Saturday in a session marked by an opposition boycott of the vote and clashes between government supporters and opposition leaders outside the parliament building.

Khan was able to secure 178 votes, against the 172 required to win confidence, the speaker of the house announced.

Khan, who became prime minister following the 2018 general elections, volunteered to seek parliament's confidence after the government's finance minister lost a high-profile Senate seat election earlier in the week.

Opposition parties boycotted the session, saying the Senate seat defeat was enough to show that Khan no longer enjoyed the confidence of the house, and the vote of confidence was unnecessary.

"An illegal session is being called to cheat the Pakistani people," former prime minister and opposition leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told media outside the parliament building.

Opposition leaders were protesting and speaking to media outside parliament when a crowd of government supporters surrounded and attacked them, local media footage showed.

The footage showed an attack on Abbasi, a female opposition leader and an opposition senator.