NA speaker faces no-trust vote

PML-N, PPP agree to move following meeting between Bilawal and Shehbaz


Our Correspondent June 16, 2021
NA Speaker Asad Qaiser, PHOTO: Anadolu Agency/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The opposition parties on Wednesday decided to table a no-confidence motion against National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser after PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari called on PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif at the Parliament House and agreed on the move.

A day earlier, the lawmakers stooped too low as they used foul language and threw budget books at the opponents; creating scenes of a rumpus in the lower house.

PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq, Rana Sanaullah and Marriyum Aurangzeb and PPP’s Yousuf Raza Gilani, Shazia Marri, Naveed Qamar and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf were present during the meeting between the two opposition leaders.

The two sides regretted what had happened day earlier in parliament observing that it was the darkest day in the history of democracy. They maintained that the speaker had failed to fulfil his constitutional, legal, democratic and parliamentary responsibilities.

Shehbaz claimed that the events during Tuesday’s session had turned the lower house of parliament into a laughing stock and everybody saw what the ministers had resorted to.

He thanked Bilawal and other PPP leaders for coming over and expressing solidarity with the PML-N.

Bilawal said Shehbaz represented the opposition in parliament and the ministers had “disgraced” themselves through their behaviour with him.

“We have come here to express solidarity with Shehbaz Sharif,” he said.

“We have consulted on the future political strategy. We will work together,” he added.

“The prime minister is instructing his ministers like children. We are serious politicians and the PPP and the PML-N will chalk out their future course of action together.”

The opposition parties also rejected the NA speaker's decision to ban seven members of the lower house for using foul language during the session. They also demanded that a parliamentary committee consisting of equal representation of the government and the opposition be formed on the issue.

The opposition leaders formed a committee that would be tasked with tabling the no-confidence motion against the speaker.

It includes PPP’s Shazia Marri, Naveed Qamar and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq and Rana Sanaullah as well as two members from the JUI-F.

Separately, the NA speaker met with Prime Minister Imran Khan and discussed the chaos in parliament during Tuesday’s session.

The prime minister formed a committee to negotiate with the opposition. He also authorised the speaker to reconcile with the opposition parties.

The premier also directed the speaker to reach out to the parliamentary leaders to keep the atmosphere of the National Assembly peaceful.

Read more: Ruckus in NA over privilege motion

The committee includes Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pervez Khattak, Asad Umar, Ali Muhammad Khan and Amir Dogar. Members from the government’s allies will also be included in the body.

Earlier it was reported that the decision to give the opposition a tough time was taken during the meeting of the federal cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, as confirmed by the Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry in the post-cabinet meeting press briefing.

“There will be tit for tat,” Chaudhry told the briefing held minutes before the NA session.

He added that the cabinet discussed the matter and decided that the opposition would only be allowed to speak in the house if they agreed to listen to what the government benches had to say.

Meanwhile, the no-confidence motion against the NA speaker and Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri will be settled though a secret ballot on Friday (tomorrow).

The ruling coalition has a numerical majority in the lower house, holding 180 seats. The opposition parties have162 seats.

The motion will be moved under Rule 12 of the National Assembly and section 7 of Article 53 of the Constitution.

No further matters will be taken up in the house on the day the motion is moved.

The deputy speaker will not be able to preside over the meeting till a decision is made on the motion.

It carries the signatures of more than a quarter of the opposition members.

 

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