The Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan
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Pakistan’s Imran Khan government does not expect a no-confidence vote in the lower house of parliament on Sunday, a minister and close aide to the prime minister told CNBC.
“The country is heading towards elections in the near future,” Information Minister Fawad Chowdhury said in a telephone call from the capital Islamabad on Sunday.
The Pakistan National Assembly will begin debate on the no-confidence motion against Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) -led government at 11.30am local time.
If the government collapses after losing the election, the country will go to the polls if the opposition cannot form a government together.
Chowdhury was embarrassed to ask if Khan had a chance to become the first prime minister to complete his full term in Pakistan.
“I think we are moving towards elections … the kind of situation we are in now, the best way is to go for a new mandate,” he said.
In a no-confidence vote, Khan needs the support of at least 162 of the 342 members of the opposition. Opposition parties have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.
Chowdhury Khan also reiterated a complaint that the no-confidence vote was the result of a “US conspiracy” to overthrow his government due to its growing close ties with Russia. Khan was in Russia the day Ukraine invaded.
U.S. officials have denied the allegations. “We are closely following Pakistan’s development and we respect, we support, Pakistan’s constitutional process and the rule of law,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday.