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In Pakistan, Imran Khan calls for early elections

It is a coup de theater but it is not certain that the maneuver saves the Pakistani Prime Minister. While the deputies were to, on Sunday April 3, examine a motion of censure tabled by the opposition, intended to bring him down, the vice-president of the National Assembly, Qasim Suri, one of his faithful, refused to put up for a vote, declaring the motion unconstitutional because supported by a “foreign power”.

Imran Khan knows that he has lost his majority, some of his allies and members of his own party having joined the opposition. He maintains that he is the victim of an international conspiracy, led by the Americans, who want him to leave.

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A few minutes later, in an address to the nation, Imran Khan announced that he was asking the President of the Republic to dissolve the National Assembly and to organize early general elections. “No corrupt force will decide the future of the country. The people decide who they want in power.he said.

Relegitimize yourself at the ballot box

In the process, the President of the Republic, Arif Alvi, dissolved the lower house of Parliament. The Prime Minister should expedite day-to-day business until the election is held within ninety days, a year before the normal deadline. General elections were scheduled for spring 2023. The opposition will appeal to the Supreme Court. “This date will be remembered as a black day in the constitutional history of Pakistan”lamented Shahbaz Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and favorite to replace Imran Khan if the motion of no confidence is successful.

Imran Khan, 69, elected in 2018, hopes to relegitimize himself at the polls. The operation is risky. Elected with the support of the military on a promise to revitalize the economy in favor of the poor, create jobs for young people, end endemic corruption, not resort to external loans and improve the external image of the country, Imran Khan is failing. The country is weakened by a serious economic crisis, marked by record unemployment and inflation (more than 12% this year), particularly in food and energy, a weakening of the rupee and crushing debt. They also accuse him of selling the country’s sovereignty to the IMF.

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The poor and the middle class are suffering like never before. Several of his ministers are implicated in corruption cases and the cycle of indebtedness has not been stopped. The government of Mr. Khan reached an agreement with the IMF, in May 2019, on an aid program of 6 billion dollars (5.38 billion euros).

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