Home Latest News PTI Unveils ‘Strategy’ to Defeat Opposition’s No-Confidence Motion

PTI Unveils ‘Strategy’ to Defeat Opposition’s No-Confidence Motion

by Staff Report

File photo. Aamir Qureshi—AFP

Analysts say the ruling party’s stated plans risk inviting judicial intervention, as they may violate the Constitution

The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday unveiled part of its strategy to counter the united opposition’s no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, suggesting that its lawmakers will be instructed to not attend the requisitioned National Assembly session.

Speaking with private broadcaster Dawn News TV, Adviser to the P.M. on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan said that MNAs of the PTI would not attend the National Assembly on the day the Lower House takes up voting on the no-confidence motion. Sources familiar with the development said that the party had decided to send a letter to its parliamentarians informing them that if they do attend, they would be considered to be acting in violation of party directives and would be proceeded against to be de-seated.

However, legal experts and analysts say this is dubious proposition as there is no constitutional requirement for party MNAs to accept any demand from their leadership to not attend a session of Parliament. Similarly, they have noted, that it would be illegal for any party chief to penalize their lawmakers for attending a session of Parliament.

According to party insiders, the PTI plans to use Article 63A of the Constitution to prevent its members from attending the vote. Related to disqualification on grounds of defection, Article 63A(b) states that any member who “votes or abstains from voting in the House contrary to any direction issued by the parliamentary party to which he belongs” with reference to constitutional amendments, vote of confidence or no-confidence, or the election of the prime minister or chief minister, could be declared to have defected in writing by the party chief.

However, the Constitution requires the party head to issue any such member with a show-cause notice to explain why defection does not apply to them prior to seeking their disqualification by the Election Commission of Pakistan. Individuals cannot be declared disqualified without the right to appeal.

Analysts have warned that if the PTI proceeds with this plan, the opposition would likely proceed to the Supreme Court against it. The political uncertainty provoked by the no-confidence motion could then last beyond the actual vote.

According to Awan, the only PTI members who would attend the session would be unelected officials—who have no vote—and NA Speaker Asad Qaiser, who has already expressed his support to the prime minister in violation of his “neutral” position as speaker.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment