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Pakistan’s PM vows to fight on after removal by Parliament

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Supporters of an opposition party celebrate the success of a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Imran Khan, in Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday, April 10, 2022. Pakistan’s political opposition toppled Prime Minister Khan in a no-confidence vote in Parliament early Sunday after several political allies and a key party in his ruling coalition deserted him. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The ouster of Prime Minister Imran Khan in a parliamentary no-confidence vote early Sunday set Pakistan on an uncertain political path, with Khan calling on supporters to take to the streets in protest and the political opposition preparing to install his replacement.

Khan was brought down after a day of drama and often vitriolic remarks. His supporters accused Washington of orchestrating his ouster and his party walked out of Parliament shortly before the vote. In the end, 174 lawmakers in the 342-seat Parliament voted to depose him, two more than the required simple majority.

Khan’s successor is to be elected and sworn in by Parliament on Monday. The leading contender is Shahbaz Sharif, a brother of disgraced former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Shahbaz Sharif heads the largest party in a diverse alliance of opposition factions that span the spectrum from the left to radically religious. Khan’s nominee for prime minister will be his foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Khan’s ouster comes amid his cooling relations with the powerful military and an economy struggling with high inflation and a plummeting Pakistani rupee. The opposition has charged Khan’s government with economic mismanagement.

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