Now that the schedule for Punjab Assembly’s dissolution has been defined, both PML-N and PTI are trying their best to appear in control. Here are the recent developments.
PML-N brings two-pronged attack
In a move slgihtly over and above what was expected, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz decided to approach the Punjab Assembly problem from two different ends.
First, the party’s members in the assembly filed a no-confidence motion against the chief minister. The assembly cannot be dissolved when a no-confidence motion is tabled. This is aimed at ensuring the PML-N at least gets a shot at making a move.
Then, Punjab’s governor asked the CM to get a vote of confidence from the assembly. This would put the onus of securing the required number of members present and voting on the CM instead of the opposition.
If a few PTI or PML-Q members were to abstain, the contest will look a lot more comptetitive.
‘Hold the vote or else’
Rana Sanaullah said told reporters on Monday that the CM has no choice but to get a vote of confidence from the assembly.
He also added that the assembly session needs to be called by four pm, on Wednesday or “Pervaiz Elahi would cease to be CM”.
However, PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry said that the PML-N could fulfill their wish of organising the vote of confidence but the assemblies will be dissolved ‘in any case’.
“The assembly and the CM secretariat are not Rana Sanaullah’s personal property,” he tweeted in response to the interior minister saying that he would ‘seal’ the CM’s office.
Will the assembly even meet?
Punjab’s speaker Sibtain Khan on the other hand, seemed completely unruffled by the PML-N’s moves even though they included a vote of no-confidence motion against himself.
Sibtain Khan said that he considers the Governor’s call for the CM to take a vote of confidence completely illegal.
He also said that, the current session of the assembly had not technically not ended, so no votes of confidence or no confidence can take place.
He added that the governor could call a session in the Aiwan-i-Iqbal, but it would be illegal and would not be attended by the CM.
The Lahore High Court allowed on Tuesday 18 members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, who were suspended from attending House proceedings, to participate in the Punjab Assembly session.
Justice Shahid Bilal of Lahore High Court announced the reserved verdict on a plea against Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan’s decision to ban members for 15 sessions of the legislature for creating ‘hue and cry’ during a session on October 22.
The court inquired whether the speaker would allow the members to participate in the PA session. To this, the lawyer said that the speaker runs the assembly according to the rules.
The court inquired against whom the motion of no-confidence had been submitted. The lawyer informed that the motion was against the chief minister, the speaker and the deputy speaker.
Upon this the judge remarked that he would announce his order shortly and reserved the verdict.
It later ordered that the PML-N members would participate in the motion of no-confidence and can also cast their vote if required.
According to the rules of the Punjab Assembly, no member can be prevented from entering the House for more than 15 days. The ban is for violation of the rules. The PA secretariat has banned the PML-N member for 15 meetings.