Pakistan's Senate chairman survives no-confidence motion

In boost to PM Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan's Senate survives unexpected no-confidence vote proposed by opposition

ISLAMABAD -- The chairman of Pakistan's Senate survived an unexpected no-confidence vote proposed by the opposition on Thursday.

The opposition, which holds a majority in the 104-member Senate, failed to remove Sadiq Sanjrani from office in the balloting. The vote was a boost for Prime Minister Imran Khan, who came to power in 2018.

Senate opposition leader Raja Zafarul Haq had proposed the motion against Sanjrani but when the secret balloting was held, only 50 senators backed it. The opposition needed 53 votes to remove Sanjrani.

Analysts and parliament watchers are baffled by the outcome of the vote, as the opposition senators in theory could have removed the chairman.

Pakistan's parliament consists of the 342-seat National Assembly — the lower, legislative chamber — and the Senate, which approves bills passed by the lower house.