Pakistan PM Imran Khan to address nation tonight after Senate election debacle

Imran Khan's close aide and Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh lost to former premier Yusuf Raza Gilani in the Senate election on Wednesday.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to address the nation Thursday evening as he is likely to seek a vote of confidence in Parliament after his finance minister was defeated in the hotly-contested Senate elections. According to Dawn, a session of the National Assembly has been summoned for Saturday.

Khan’s close aide and Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh lost to former premier Yusuf Raza Gilani in the Senate election on Wednesday. Khan, the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), had personally campaigned for his Cabinet colleague.

Meanwhile, several Opposition leaders heavily criticised Khan after Gilani’s win, calling for his resignation. The ruling PTI had claimed that it enjoyed the support of 182 members while 172 votes were needed to elect the senator. The Election Commission of Pakistan announced that Gilani received 169 votes while Shaikh got 164 votes.

Gilani, a Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) veteran, was a consensus candidate of the Opposition alliance – Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

The ruling party leaders, however, rejected calls for the resignation of Khan. “The Opposition leaders should be ashamed. With what face and character can they say that Imran Khan should resign or say to bring no confidence against him,” Information Minister Shibli Faraz said.

With PTI inputs

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