ISLAMABAD — Although opposition faction leaders have been gaining momentum to secure a minimum of 172 votes in a no-confidence motion, party members have no idea of the exact “time frame” for bringing the motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The indecisive approach of opposition party leaders to perform the proper “homework” to propose a no-confidence motion is confusing their party members, substantive discussions with opposition party members have revealed.
The leadership of the main parliamentary opposition parties over the past two weeks has worked out all possible options to send this government packing, but they have failed to decide on an appropriate time frame to present the motion to parliament. President Arif Alvi may convene the stormy session of the National Assembly by the middle of next week. This long-awaited session of the National Assembly will not last more than two weeks. While the leadership of the opposition parties will apparently take more time in their “homework” to properly move a no-confidence decision.
Political observers felt that the opposition leadership is not in favor of Prime Minister Imran Khan being stronger facing defeat in the House. The decision to announce a motion of no confidence was taken solely to satisfy and encourage disgruntled members of their party.
These distraught members of the opposition party were unable to obtain the final green light from the party leadership for proposing a motion of censure to the secretariat of the National Assembly. “However, the party leadership has not given clear indications to propose a motion of censure,” said the chief whip of the PML-N in the National Assembly, speaking to The Nation. On the anti-government decision, Abbasi said next month will decide the fate of the incumbent government. “Either the current government will send its baggage in March or it will be allowed to complete its mandate,” he said.
Another opposition MP, wishing not to be named, said the decision to bring a motion should have been decided. It takes time four to five days to put the motion on the agenda [Order of the day] after having moved it to the secretariat of the National Assembly, he said.
Political observers have estimated that the opposition may not be able to propose a no-confidence motion during the next session of the National Assembly, which could last until the end of February. The support of the allies was important to bring down the government in the event of a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister. The opposition may prefer to oppose National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser because his vote is by secret ballot. The opposition parties, last week, had not limited their contacts between them but had also engaged the main coalition partners of the treasury banks including the MQM-P and the PML-Q. The support of key government partners in the National Assembly [MQM-P and PML-Q] could prove very useful for the opposition, but it did not happen.
It may be mentioned here that the government only defeated the common opposition with 18 votes in its three “attacks” to block the “Mini-Budget” legislation, the “SBP (Amendment) Bill” and the ” The Election (Amendment) Bill”. , 2021 [EVM]’. The importance of the 15 voices of the main coalition partners [7 MQM-P, 5 PML-Q and 3 GDA] would be very helpful both for the ruling party [PTI] and the common opposition, if the latter intends to propose a motion of censure to the National Assembly.
On the other hand, the ruling clique is also planning against the opposition leader in the next session of the National Assembly. The ruling party [PTI] with the support of its allies, can propose a resolution against the chairman of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and leader of the opposition in the National Assembly (NA) Shehbaz Sharif. The resolution will appeal that the Leader of the Opposition will not be allowed to speak at the assembly until a decision is made on his case in court.