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pakistan
Monday Nov 04 2019
By
Web Desk

Can the opposition table a motion of no-confidence against PM Imran Khan?

By
Web Desk

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government is adamant, it would not accede to opposition leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s “unconstitutional demands”.

Rehman, who heads his own faction of the right wing Jamiat Ulema-e Islam (JUI-F), has been perched atop of a shipping container, with thousands of supporters, since three days now in the federal capital demanding the prime minister and his cabinet resign.

Other opposition political parties have also made guest appearances at Rehman’s sit-in. While the JUI-F has a nominal presence in the parliament, the other parties have a sizable number of seats in the 342-member house.

Which is why it is important to ask that does the opposition block have a constitutional option available to de-seat the prime minister?

Yes. Article 95 of the constitution allows for a no confidence motion to be tabled against the incumbent premier.

It reads:

Article 95: Vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister

  1. A resolution for a vote of no-confidence moved by not less than twenty per centum of the total membership of the National Assembly may be passed against the Prime Minister by the National Assembly.
  2. A resolution referred to in clause (1) shall not be voted upon before the expiration of three days, or later than seven days, from the day on which such resolution is moved in the National Assembly.
  3. A resolution referred to in clause (1) shall not be moved in the National Assembly while the National Assembly is considering demands for grants submitted to it in the Annual Budget Statement.
  4. If the resolution referred to in clause (1) is passed by a majority of the total membership of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister shall cease to hold office.

What is a no-confidence motion?

  • Any member of the national assembly can decide whether he/she wants the government to continue. After which he/she can table a no-confidence motion with the help of 20 per cent of the MNAs in the house.
  • The motion has the power to trigger a general election and could see a new prime minister appointed.
  • Once tabled, the bill has to be debated on within seven days. If the motion is to succeed then it must secure a simple majority to pass.

Does the opposition have the numbers to sail through a no-confidence motion?

No.

The opposition parties will need a total of 172 votes to get the motion approved. It currently has 156 seats.

Breakdown:

Political Party
 MNAs
Pakistan Muslim League-N
 84
Pakistan People’s Party
55
Awami National Party
01
Muttahida Majlis–e–Amal
16
Total
156

But there is one other option: seeking the support of political parties in alliance with the ruling PTI. These parties have a total representation of:

Political Party MNAs
Pakistan Muslim League -Q
05
Muttahida Qaumi Movement- Pakistan
07
Balochistan National Party
04
Independents
04
Total
20


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