Former cricket star Imran Khan ousted as Pakistan's Prime Minister

9 April 2022, 21:09 | Updated: 9 April 2022, 22:01

Former cricket star Imran Khan ousted as Pakistan's prime minister
Former cricket star Imran Khan ousted as Pakistan's prime minister. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

Former cricket star Imran Khan has been ousted as Pakistan's prime minister after no-confidence vote by opposition parties.

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Mr Khan said previously he will not accept the decision claiming that there was a US-led conspiracy to remove him, although there has been no evidence of this.

The parliamentary vote was called over claims of economic and political mismanagement.

Anticipating his loss, Mr Khan, tried to sidestep the vote by dissolving Parliament and calling early elections, but a Supreme Court ruling said he had acted unconstitutionally and ordered the vote to go ahead.

Opposition parties were able to secure 174 votes in the 342-member house in support of the no-confidence motion.

Mr Khan urged his supporters to take to the streets, particularly young people who have been the backbone of his support since the former cricket star turned conservative Islamist politician came to power in 2018.

He said they needed to protect Pakistan's sovereignty and oppose US dictations.

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"You have to come out to protect your own future. It is you who have to protect your democracy, your sovereignty and your independence. This is your duty," he said. "I will not accept an imposed government."

His options are limited and should he see a big turnout in support, he may try to keep the momentum of street protests as a way to pressure Parliament to dissolve and go to early elections.

The no-confidence vote loss for Mr Khan may bring to power some unlikely partners.

Among them is a radically religious party that runs scores of religious schools.

The Jamiat-e-Ulema-Islam, or Assembly of Clerics, teaches a deeply conservative brand of Islam in its schools.

Many of Afghanistan's Taliban and Pakistan's own homegrown violent Taliban graduated from JUI schools.

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The largest among the opposition parties, the Pakistan People's Party, led by the son of murdered former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, and the Pakistan Muslim League, have been tainted by allegations of widespread corruption.

The leader of the opposition, Shahbaz Sharif - brother to the jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif - is set to become interim prime minister.

No prime minister has finished a full five-year term since independence from Britain in 1947.