Balochistan CM faces no-confidence motion

Disgruntled lawmakers demand immediate resignation to prevent further descent into chaos and disintegration


Mohammad Zafar October 12, 2021

QUETTA:

The disgruntled lawmakers of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and their allies on Monday submitted a no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Jam Kamal Alyani, further ratcheting up pressure on the embattled chief minister.

In their motion, the angry members have cited unemployment and unrest as major reasons for mounting the no-trust bid, and lamented that despite several efforts to heal the rift and apprise Alyani of the issues confronting the province, the latter remained “callous”.

"Due to Jam Kamal's lukewarm attitude, there has been gas, water, electricity, and economic crisis in Balochistan," the motion said.

Lawmakers including Saeed Hashmi, Jan Jamali, Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi, Asad Baloch, Naseebullah Marri and Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran were present in the assembly when the application was submitted to the speaker.

Speaking to reporters on the occasion, the estranged lawmakers called upon Alyani to step down, saying failure to do so would potentially lead to further disintegration of the party. They urged the Balochistan governor to immediately summon a session of the assembly so that the no-confidence motion could be presented.

BAP leader Mir Zahoor Buledi said the political crisis has been brewing up in the province for the last one month, claiming that the chief minister had lost the trust of the masses. "The chief minister blew up our talks and said that he would not resign at the request of 12 people. Therefore, today 14 members of the assembly have submitted a no-confidence motion to the secretariat of the assembly,” he said.

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He warned the chief minister that the only option left at his disposal was of resigning and not resorting to the futile attempts of calling for the confidence vote “as he has lost the majority”.

"He himself has admitted to the media that he has 24 members. He said that he has no right to govern in a 65-member assembly after which he has the support of 24 members. Therefore, he has also lost the moral legitimacy to govern.”

“It is better to resign immediately and convene a meeting of the Governor of Balochistan Assembly and give the Assembly a chance to elect a new Leader of the House," he further said.

Talking on the occasion, BAP member Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran said that Alyani was a tall and respectable figure. He should resign to salvage the party from disintegration in the interest of the party, he said.

BNP-A’s Mir Asadullah Baloch of BNP (Awami) said that lawmakers rising against the chief were not “the disgruntled group”, but the united group.

Citing constitutional and legal grounds for the move, Asadullah said those who failed to live up to the expectations of the people do not have the right to rule.

He said it was a principle that "one person is sacrificed for the larger interest of the majority,” adding that the counting of the assembly should not be distorted. “There are 41 members in the assembly, not 65.”

PTI MPA Marri said the PTI had been the ally of the ruling coalition since day one and remained the same. “Jam Kamal is requested to resign immediately and go home with dignity.”

Festering bitterness

The deadlock has been persisting as the chief minister has remained undeterred in the face of the disgruntled MPs who continue to heap pressure against him to squeeze out a resignation.

On Tuesday, the angry lawmakers had given the chief minister a deadline to step down in a “dignified” manner, warning that otherwise, they would move a no-confidence motion against him.

However, the deadline ended without any breakthrough and with Alyani doubling down on his insistence that he enjoyed the majority. He reiterated that he would not yield to blackmail by the angry group, warning that a change on the “whims of a few elements” would harm both the government and the opposition.

The opposition had also filed a no-trust motion last month which the assembly secretariat had sent to the governor for convening an assembly session to take in the motion. However, the chief minister survived after Governor House Secretariat returned the opposition’s no-confidence motion on technical grounds.

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