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Sunday November 28, 2021

No-confidence motion against CM Balochistan: Onus to show majority on movers of resolution for its success

October 16, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The onus to produce at least 51 percent of the total members of the Balochistan Assembly is on the movers of the no-confidence motion for its success against Chief Minister Jam Kamal Alyani.

Of the total members of the provincial assembly (MPAs), only 14 have sponsored the resolution and they need a minimum of 19 lawmakers more to carry it.

Under the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Balochistan Assembly, voting on the motion will be held some time in the third week of the current month between Oct 21 and Oct 25. The speaker can fix any of these days for voting.

The chief minister has dismissed the calls of the sponsors of the motion belonging to his own Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and its allied parties to stand down as he knows that it is the responsibility of the dissidents to present a majority of the legislators on the floor against him.

Whatever number of members who can be blocked from participation in the voting process, will be his gain. He knows that if he is successful in preventing the majority, by any means, to turn out against him, the resolution will fail and he will become well-entrenched.

As the situation stands now, the opposition holds the trump card because if its members back the no-trust motion or some BAP legislators still supporting Alyani slip away, he will be ousted.

On its part, the opposition has so far kept its cards close to its chest.

A couple of weeks ago, it had tabled its own no-confidence resolution against the chief minister, but it was knocked down on technical grounds. At the time, the disgruntled elements of the BAP and its allies, who have now moved the no-trust motion, had not expressed solidarity with the opposition.

The chief minister has beseeched the opposition, particularly the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e- Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) to side with him but it has refused to extend support saying it was now too late.

The dissidents may be hit by the defection clause because, under the Constitution, they are not allowed to vote against the chief minister in the no-confidence motion If they do so, they may be disqualified.

The floor crossing clause has hardly ever been invoked. Moreover, there is no precedent either of a no-trust motion becoming successful.

The disgruntled elements have claimed that Alyani has lost the support of the majority while the chief minister has insisted that he continues to enjoy the backing of the requisite numbers.

As the crisis had unfolded, Alyani, under pressure from the rebels, had quit the office of the president of BAP, but he has now taken back his resignation and denied that he had stepped down.

The chief minister has met the chief election commissioner (CEC) and informed him about his concerns regarding the acting BAP president. He expressed his grievances over the letter written by the acting chief and general secretary Manzoor Kakar to the ECP. He presented a letter of denial to the CEC regarding the party presidency and said that the notification of Zahoor Buledi as the acting president of the party was illegal. “I had just shared my desire to resign on Twitter, but the party workers and friends approached me and urged me not to step down, so I acted according to their wishes.”

Under the rules, a notice of a no-confidence resolution will be given in writing to the assembly secretary by not less than 20% of the total members. The secretary will circulate the notice to the members. The notice will be entered in the name of the members concerned in the list of business for the first working day after the expiry of seven clear days of its receipt. Leave to move the resolution will be asked for before any other business is taken up.

However, the speaker will call the members as may be in favour of the leave being granted to rise in their seats, and if less than 20% of the total members rise in their seats, he will declare that the member has not the leave and when the requisite number so rise he call upon the member to move the resolution. When the resolution is moved, the speaker may, after considering the state of business, allot a day for the voting on the resolution. But the resolution will not be voted upon before the expiry of three days, or later than seven days, from the day on which it was moved.

On the day so appointed, the speaker will, without debate, put the resolution to vote and the assembly will not be adjourned on that day until the motion has been voted upon. There will be no other business on the day allotted by the speaker for consideration of, and voting on, the resolution. The speaker will then inform the governor of the decision of the assembly in respect of the resolution.