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Pakistani PM Wins No Confidence Vote Amid Opposition Boycott

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan

Pakistan's prime minister won a vote of confidence in parliament amid a boycott by opposition lawmakers.

The March 6 vote on Imran Khan's leadership came just days after a candidate from Khan’s party lost an election, depriving Khan's party of a majority in the parliamentary chamber that chooses the prime minister.

Khan ended up with 178 votes, six more than the minimum required in the lower chamber, the National Assembly

Khan called the special session after his party's candidate, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, lost to an opposition nominee in the race for a Senate seat in Islamabad on March 3.

After the vote, Khan accused the opposition leaders of corruption.

"They have looted and damaged the country with their utmost corruption," he said.

Khan and his party won national elections in 2018.

But that victory has been shadowed by allegations that the country's military leadership backed him, and his tenure has seen mounting censorship and a crackdown on dissent, as well as opposition leaders.

Pakistan’s generals have ruled the country for decades and are often accused of manipulating elections and personnel in civilian governments as a way to block democratic leaders.

Khan met with two powerful military officials this week, following the Senate election seat loss.

The multiparty opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement then announced it would boycott the no-confidence vote.

The Khan government "will not be considered the representative government of this nation," Maulana Rehman, the head of the Pakistan Democratic Movement, told reporters after the vote.

With reporting by AFP and dpa

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