LAHORE: Pakistan’s political hub Punjab is once again stormed by a new political crisis, with the CM’s seat being entangled between confidence and no-confidence vote. Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan, on Tuesday, described Punjab governor’s notice to Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi to seek vote of confidence in a special assembly session “illegal and against the provisions of the Constitution.”
Experts say Elahi can lose CM seat if he ignores the directives of the Governor.
On Tuesday, during the session of the Punjab Assembly, the Speaker in a two-page ruling, stressed that “the meeting started from October and it just can be dismissed according to the constitution,” adding that “Governor has no authority to prorogue the session before it would be adjourned for an undefined period.”
“No fresh session can be convened unless and until the current one ends,” the speaker ruled.
“Under Article 109, the Governor has the right to prorogue and call the session of the assembly… on 14th June he called the meeting of the Punjab assembly at Awan-e- Iqbal and it is yet to be adjourned or dismissed”.
Article 109 reads; “the Governor may from time to time— (a) summon the Provincial Assembly to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit; and (b) prorogue the Provincial Assembly.”
Speaker noted, “In this situation, the Governor has no authority to ask CM to take a trust Vote.” Declining the directives of the governor, he added: “It is not possible to implement the directives of the governor, and therefore it is rejected,” ruled Sibtain Khan, Speaker of Punjab assembly.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister of Punjab is restricted to follow the directions of the Governor. Article 130 section (7) of the constitution of Pakistan reads; “The Chief Minister shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor, but the Governor shall not exercise his powers under this clause unless he is satisfied that the Chief Minister does not command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Provincial Assembly, in which case he shall summon the Provincial Assembly and require the Chief Minister to obtain a vote of confidence from the Assembly.”
Capital TV reported, that the ruling of Speaker PA and notification from the Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman stirs fear of a constitutional crisis in Punjab.
The Governor of the Province has been calling the sessions of PA, while the speaker says that the Governor has no authority to call meetings before prorogue previous one.
The PA Speaker adjourned the session till 23 Dec, while the Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) announced the dissolution of Assemblies on the same date.
Sibtain Khan added that as per LHC’s order, the CM should be allotted “not less than 10 days” to obtain the vote of confidence. “Procedurally, that is the minimum time which is mandatorily to be provided to the chief minister.” He stressed that the governor cannot summon the session where chief minister can attain a vote of confidence.
“In view of the above, the undersigned, in terms of Rule 209-A of the Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab 1997, give ruling that the order of governor requiring chief minister to take vote of confidence, being not in accordance with aforementioned provisions of the Constitution and Rules of Procedure, may not be processed any further; hence, disposed of accordingly.”
Speaking to journalists earlier, Khan called the governor’s order “controversial”.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan noted that the speaker should follow the governor’s order, affirming that its chief minister’s responsibility to ensure that the vote of confidence is taken.
“If the chief minister avoids taking the vote of confidence, then it will be perceived that he has lost the majority. If the chief minister has the support of 186 members, then why not prove it in the house?… The session is ongoing and the chief minister should take the vote of confidence.”
PMLN leader Khalil Tahir Sindhu also said, “If the government closed the door of the Assembly, the session would be held outside the door.”
He claimed that Parvez Elahi should take the Vote of confidence or he should resign from his office.
Meanwhile, the opposition parties also set the meeting to defeat Elahi through a no-confidence motion.
On Tuesday co-chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party met the leader of PML-Q, and both leaders conducted talks about the no-confidence motion and showed consensus on the issue.
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