Imran Khan was dismissed from power as Pakistan’s prime minister early on Sunday after losing a no-confidence vote in parliament following weeks of political turmoil.
A broad coalition of opposition parties secured a majority of votes in the country’s national assembly, after Mr Khan’s allies unsuccessfully spent hours trying to dodge or derail the ballot.
A total of 174 parliamentarians voted for the opposition motion that they no longer had confidence in the former cricketer and “consequently he should cease to hold office”. The motion had needed 172 votes to be passed.
The vote marks the end of nearly four years as prime minister for Mr Khan. The national assembly is expected to choose a new leader next week, with the winner likely to be Shehbaz Sharif, younger brother of Mr Khan’s predecessor, Nawaz Sharif.
Mr Khan tried everything he could to stay in power and duck the vote, including suspending parliament last week and calling for elections. The supreme court deemed his actions unconstitutional and ordered the assembly to reconvene so the vote could proceed.
Yet he fought to the last and the vote was only held after a marathon 13-hour parliamentary session in which his allies obstructed, delayed and played for time.
Mr Sharif said the victory was a new dawn for Pakistan. He said the new government would not take political revenge on Mr Khan and members of the former government.
“I don’t want to go back to bitterness of the past,” he said after the result. “We want to forget them and move forward. We will not take revenge or do injustice; we will not send people to jail for no reason, law and justice will take its course.”