Wednesday July 24, 2024

Three speakers removed by opposition in past

December 19, 2010
ISLAMABAD: At least three successful and five abortive no-confidence motions were brought against sitting speakers, deputy speakers and prime Ministers in the parliamentary history of Pakistan, according to available documents.
The speakers became the causalities of no-trust motions in all the three successful moves with the movers installing their own speakers, twice in the Centre and once in a provincial assembly.
Neither a sitting prime minister nor a deputy speaker could be removed or replaced though such no-confidence motions were tacked in 1989 and in 2003 by the opposition parties within the constitutional parameters.
At least one/fifth of the members of National Assembly with their signatures are required to present a valid no-confidence against an incumbent premier, the Leader of the Housse, whereas no specific number is required to table such a parliamentary activity against speaker or deputy speaker.
The members exercise their right to elect a speaker or deputy speaker through secret balloting in case of election or no-trust move. Unlike this mechanism, the prime minister is elected in the process of ascertainment of a member who commands majority of the House through division of the House. “Two lobbies are specified, one in favor of a sitting prime minister and the second for those in favour of a no-trust move against him/her, in the division of the House,” the parliamentary affairs officials elaborated.
It was November 1, 1989, when late Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi led no-confidence motion against Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto in her first tenure as Prime Minister of Pakistan. It faced defeat as the then opposition could not produce more than half of the total strength of the National Assembly. In the three successful moves, one was from provincial assembly of Sindh as the then Speaker Hussain Haroon was removed by the majority of while replacing him with Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah for the position in 1986.
“Although no motion was presented against Khawaja Safdar in this case but the failure of government sponsored candidate fall under the category of no-confidence on the government in our parliamentary practices,” parliamentary affairs officials explained.
But on May 26, 1986, Zia succeeded to install his choice MNA Hamid Nasir Chatta while successfully managing to prove the majority of the House against sitting speaker Fakhar-e-Imam in the no-confidence motion.
Except in the first government of Benazir Bhutto, neither she nor Nawaz Sharif’s two tenures witnessed such activities from the 1989 to 1999 period of democracy and until another general, Pervez Musharraf, staged a military coup.
Under Musharraf umbrella, Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain faced no-trust twice first on June 28, 2003 and second on October 22, 2004 but both met failure to remove him and bring a new person at his place in presence of Mutahidda Majlis-e-Amal (MMA).
The 2002-2007 opposition mainly comprising PPP and PML-N brought a no-trust move against Deputy Speaker Sardar Yaqub Nasir but withdrew after negotiations with the treasury and completing a debate within the national assembly.
The eighth no-trust was tabled against the then Speaker Abdul Wahab in the tenure of another dictator Field Marshal Ayub Khan and it faced defeat in the secret ballot on May 6, 1968, the first ever such kind of activity in the country’s history.