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Imran Khan Dissolves Pakistan’s Parliament, Calls Elections

April 3, 2022 (EIRNS)—Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan dissolved parliament on Sunday morning, April 3, before a scheduled no-confidence vote, and called early elections, announcing the latter in a national address. If this holds, elections will be held in 90 days.

The opposition has taken the case to the Supreme Court and asked for a ruling that the dissolution is unconstitutional. Khan addressed his party leaders later today, and some were publicly referring to “the friends of America” as “the traitors to their country.” He apparently has named Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu as the official who told the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States on March 7 that the U.S. government expected Khan to be removed when the no-confidence vote was held; the opposition filed the requested no-confidence motion the following day, March 8.

Khan’s move was reported with great indignation by British media sources, such as the Guardian and in the U.S., NPR, citing the result as “an unprecedented constitutional crisis,” a phrase from the Pakistani Centre of Excellence in Journalism. Nonetheless, dissolution of parliament for new elections is a fairly common step for a prime minister who has lost the parliamentary majority to govern with.

The IMF also may figure in the election campaign, as Pakistan is in a negotiation for recasting of a $6 billion outstanding IMF loan.

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