ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser said on Tuesday that if anyone can prove that the number of members was less than 178 on the day the vote of confidence was sought by Prime Minister Imran Khan, he will resign from his post.
“The whole media was there — everyone saw that, excluding Faisal Vawda and I, there were 178 members [present],” Speaker Asad Qaiser responded when asked about the opposition’s claim that there were less than 178 members present during the vote of confidence in the Lower House of parliament.
He also fired back, challenging the Opposition to name which MNAs were missing during the vote.
Qaiser, who was speaking to the media alongside Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani, said that there was a need to make democracy stronger.
On the day of the vote of confidence, Opposition lawmaker Mohsin Dawar, who had turned up for the proceedings despite a wider boycott by the Opposition, had claimed that the National Assembly did not actually have 178 government members as the final vote tally showed.
He had made the claim after PM Imran Khan won his vote of confidence with 178 votes.
Meanwhile, Sadiq Sanjrani, who accompanied Qaiser, said that he will visit all members of the Senate for their vote for his re-election bid.
“I can go anywhere for a vote,” said Sanjrani.
He added that he may also go to his rival, Yousuf Raza Gilani, for support. He added that everyone needs to be taken along for the sake of democracy.
“I am a candidate for chairman Senate, I will go to everyone,” he said.
Sanjrani is seeking re-election as Senate chairman after the end of a three-year tenure.
The opposition has meanwhile nominated newly-elected senator and former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani as their candidate for the chairman’s slot.
The election promises to be a close contest, with the number split in a way that the election could swing either way on March 12.
More on that here.