It appears that the National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser cannot stop disgruntled PTI MPAs and MNAs from casting their votes in favor of the no-trust move.
The Opposition is preparing to oust the government with the no-confidence motion. It already submitted the no-confidence motion to the National Assembly Secretariat on March 9th. According to details, a total of 86 lawmakers from the Opposition parties signed the no-confidence motion demanding PM Khan’s removal.
On the other hand, the government is looking for options to stop their party members from casting their votes. Regarding this, NA Speaker Asad Qaiser held a meeting with the legal department to seek an opinion.
According to sources, the NA Secretariat informed Asad Qaiser that members of the assembly cannot be stopped from voting. However, the party itself can take action against those who violate its policy.
“The article 63 (1) (a) of the Constitution is clear in this regard,” NA Secretariat reportedly said.
Furthermore, Asad Qaiser also asked what could happen if the party head sends names of suspicious lawmakers. To this, the secretariat said that the speaker’s role would begin after the declaration from the party chief.
Lastly, Asad Qaiser asked if any ruling could be given on dissent lawmakers ahead of the vote. The secretariat said that ruling is the speaker’s prerogative. However, the constitution and laws are clear on the matter.
The Law Department of the National Assembly Secretariat made it clear to Speaker Asad Qaiser that according to the Constitution, no member of the National Assembly can be barred from voting in a no-confidence motion. #GameOverNiazi pic.twitter.com/LhFLFp3APP
— Zobia Khurshid Raja (@ZobiaKhurshid) March 14, 2022
The number game
Needless to say, PTI may have to look for other ways to prevent its disgruntled from voting in favour of the no-trust move. Currently, it is uncertain whether the PTI members will move against the government or not.
For instance, estranged PTI leader Aleem Khan stirred quite the storm past week by announcing that he will go with the Jahangir Tareen Group. However, as per latest reports, he may not join forces with the Tareen.
Both the Opposition and the PTI ruling government are involved in an intense number game. According to the latest details, the PTI government has 179 MNAs in its favor. Meanwhile, the Opposition has 162 MNAs in the lower house of parliament. The Opposition needs the backing of ten more MNAs to dislodge the Imran Khan government.
On the other hand, Opposition lawmakers shared that the PML-N bagged the support of 16 PTI members in exchange for giving them its party tickets in the next elections.
Similarly, the PPP managed to win over four MNAs. While the JUI-F received assurance of support from three MNAs, bringing the total to 23. This of course is more than the required number.