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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Political Turmoil in Punjab Assembly as Reserved Seat MPs Suspended

The suspension of reserved seat MPs in the Punjab Assembly signifies a broader political struggle within the ruling coalition, impacting legislative dynamics and parliamentary governance amidst legal disputes and coalition alliances.

the ruling coalition in Punjab, led by PML-N, faced a setback as the Speaker of the Provincial Assembly suspended 24 women and three minority Members of Provincial Assembly (MPAs) elected on reserved seats. This action followed a point of order raised by an opposition lawmaker, contesting the allocation of these seats.

The suspension affected MPs from various parties, including 23 from PML-N, two from PPP, and one each from PML-Q and IPP. The Speaker, Malik Mohammad Ahmed Khan, based his decision on a plea by the opposition, citing a Supreme Court ruling that questioned the allocation of these seats.

The repercussions extended to the National Assembly, where the ruling coalition is expected to lose nearly two dozen members ahead of the crucial budget session. President Asif Ali Zardari has summoned the National Assembly session on May 13, anticipating a similar challenge from Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) members seeking a ruling from Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had initially allocated these reserved seats in the National Assembly based on proportional representation from the February 8 elections. However, disputes arose when PTI-backed independents joined SIC, leading to a contentious redistribution of seats, favoring the ruling coalition.

Impact on Political Dynamics

The suspension alters the political landscape, affecting the PML-N’s strength in both provincial and national assemblies. The allocation of seats has been a subject of legal contention, with the Supreme Court’s intervention influencing the composition of parliamentary bodies.

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Although the ruling coalition maintains numerical superiority, these developments highlight the intricate nature of coalition politics and the importance of parliamentary procedures. The suspended MPs represent a complex web of alliances and interests within Punjab’s legislative framework.

Future Challenges and Resolutions

Looking ahead, the suspended MPs await clarification from the ECP or the Supreme Court regarding their status. The decision underscores broader challenges facing political stability in Punjab, emphasizing the role of legal mechanisms in resolving parliamentary disputes.

As political maneuvering continues, questions arise about the impact on governance and legislative processes. The PML-N’s ability to navigate these challenges and maintain coalition cohesion will shape Punjab’s political trajectory in the coming months.