Lawmaker loyal to Imran Khan walk out of parliament as house elects new PM

Islamabad, Apr 11 (EFE).- Lawmakers of former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party walked out of the parliament and announced resignations as the house met to elect a new government after his ouster in a midnight no-trust vote.

“We won’t legitimize a government which is brought by foreign intervention. We are boycotting and announcing our resignation from (the National Assembly),” former foreign minister and senior PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a passionate address to the house.

Qureshi was PTI’s candidate for the top slot along with Shehbaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

He said the house was going to elect a new prime minister, but everyone knew Sharif “is being imposed and does not have the mandate of the people.”

Qureshi, along with other PTI lawmakers, walked out of the house.

“We did not want to be part of this act. Imran Khan and the PTI stand for the freedom of Pakistan,” former minister and Khan’s close aide Fawad Chaudhry told reporters outside the house.

“We have got freedom from a slave assembly today. These slaves have been imposed by a foreign force. We all have resigned from the assembly today and we will not become part of this process,” Chaudhry said.

The decision to resign from the National Assembly was taken at a party parliamentary meeting chaired by Khan.

Khan earlier told reporters that PTI lawmakers did not want to be part of a process that elected a “corrupt” politician as the new prime minister of Pakistan, referring to Sharif.

“The man who has 16 billion Pakistani rupees corruption in one case and 8 billion rupees in other case, whoever selects or elect him, there is no insult to the country more than this. We are giving resignations (from the National Assembly),” Khan told media at the parliament.

PTI leader Farrukh Habib announced that the former ruling party “rejects the imported government and has decided to go for fresh elections.”

Sharif, the younger brother of former three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has multi-billion-rupee money laundering cases brought by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against him.

He is on bail in the money laundering case.

The session to elect a new prime minister capped a tumultuous week of political drama in Pakistan that witnessed the removal of Khan.

The political turmoil also triggered a brief constitutional crisis in the country. EFE


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