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January 14, 2021

PML-N seeking fresh polls instead of in-house change

National

January 14, 2021

LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is seeking fresh elections in the country rather than opting for an in-house change, The News has learnt.

Party sources said that during the last meeting of the PDM held at Jati Umrah, the PPP had reportedly proposed an in-house change but the alliance could not reach a consensus as the PML-N expressed reservations on the proposal. The News has learnt that there are three legitimate ways to send the government home dissolution of assembly by Prime Minister Imran Khan, dissolution of assemblies by the president if no political party shows majority and bringing an in-house change through vote of no confidence. The first two options lead to fresh elections that presently the PML-N is aiming at. These options are described in Article 58 of the Constitution under which the president shall dissolve the National Assembly if so advised by the prime minister. The second way which leads to fresh elections under the Constitution is that the president may dissolve the National Assembly in his discretion where a no-confidence move is passed against the prime minister. The third way of removing Imran Khan from power is to bring an in-house change by calling a vote of no confidence. Another way to end the government is the entry of an ‘external force’, but PML-N sources said they are not foreseeing any such scenario. The first two options, which are on the top priority of the party, are also not an easy task to obtain because why Imran Khan will resign or dissolve the assembly himself.

PML-N leader Muhammad Zubair, while talking with this scribe, ruled out the option of any in-house change. He said in Senate elections as well as during the budget session, the party has seen how the government manipulated the situation. He said: “If we go for an in-house change, we may face a similar situation. What we are doing is that we are spreading the party narrative to the masses and the more people agree to this the more pressure will be on the government.” He said that ultimately the prime minister will resign or dissolve the assembly. Recently, PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal in a media talk declared that any in-house change is not a viable option and the PML-N is not in its favour. “To do that, we will have to resort to horse-trading which we are against. In the Senate chairman election, we saw how 64 votes (of the opposition) were reduced to 52 and this game will have to be played again for an in-house change,” he explained.

Ahsan said that instead of an in-house change, resigning from the assemblies is a more viable option for the opposition because he was optimistic that when over 400 resignations are submitted, the whole system will collapse. In his last media talk, Ahsan also referred to PTI foreign funding case in the Election Commission of Pakistan and said if this case is decided on merit, the PTI will be banned and Prime Minister Imran Khan will be disqualified. Following the importance of the foreign funding case, the PDM has already announced a demonstration outside the ECP office in Islamabad on January 19. PML-N leader Azma Bukhari said the PML-N wants to send the government home, but its first priority is to bring the government to the point where Imran Khan resigns himself or dissolves the assembly. She said the second option is that the allies of the government should leave the government so that the government lose majority in the assembly and it will be dissolved automatically.