Govt leads opp by two votes in no-confidence number game

Jamaat-e-Islami’s one vote can prove to be decisive

Saqib Virk March 30, 2022


The number game against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the no-confidence vote has entered its final phase with the government having a majority of only two votes over the joint opposition, excluding the vote count of PTI dissident lawmakers.

The latest numbers show that the ruling party has 171 parliamentarians on its side whereas the opposition enjoys the trust of 169 legislators. The one vote of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) can prove to be decisive.

The opposition requires at least 172 votes to oust PM Imran’s government.

Out of the total 156, the number of PTI lawmakers after the passing away of ruling party’s MNA Khayal Zaman has dropped to 155. The PTI enjoys the support of 171 parliamentarians including seven from MQM-P, four from PML-Q, three from GDA and one each from AML and BAP.

The total number of opposition’s lawmakers comes to 169 with 84 from the PML-N, 56 from PPP, 14 from MMA, four each from BNP and PAP, one each from ANP, JWP and PML-Q and four independents.

Though Abdul Akbar Chitrali of the JI who is a part of the opposition on the MMA ticket has, until now, decided to remain impartial.

In separate developments on Tuesday, PML-N’s dissident legislators MPA Ashraf Ansari and Faisal Niazi met the premier.

Tareen Group’s Punjab Assembly member and Adviser to the Chief Minister on Excise Syed Rafaqat Ali Shah Gilani called on provincial assembly speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi at his residence and assured him of his “full support”.

Read No-trust motion tabled in NA amid hullabaloo

MNA Hussain Elahi, provincial minister Hafiz Ammar Yasir, Senator Kamil Ali Agha and Chaudhry Gul Zaman were also present in the meeting.

Issues of mutual interest and the changing political situation in Punjab were also discussed in the meeting.

Meanwhile, sources said that the federal government had stepped up contacts to bring back two of the four MNAs of the BAP.

Sources said National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri met BAP lawmakers including Israr Khan Tarin on Monday night. It was further stated that BAP’s Rubina Irfan is also in contact with the government ministers.

A day earlier, BAP had parted ways with the government and announced its support for the opposition’s no-confidence motion. BAP is the latest departure from the PTI-led coalition.

On Sunday, JWP MNA Shahzain Bugti resigned from the post of special assistant to prime minister and joined the opposition camp. Earlier, PTI leader Yar Muhammad Rind had also quit.

The country started witnessing a political chaos after the joint opposition, on March 8, submitted a no-trust motion against the premier with the National Assembly Secretariat.

As things unfolded, several lawmakers of the ruling PTI were found taking refuge in the Sindh House in Islamabad. The legislators maintained that they had lost confidence in PM Imran and that they would vote against him in the parliament.

On Monday, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar tendered his resignation to the premier in favour of Elahi, who is also a leader of the PML-Q – a key ally of the government in both the Centre and province.

The PML-Q, reportedly, had been seeking the position of Punjab chief minister in return for continuing its support to the PTI.


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