Opposition needs 10 more votes to send govt home

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The opposition parties, which claim they are just days away from tabling a no-trust motion against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government in the National Assembly (NA), still require the support of at least 10 members of the National Assembly (MNAs), belonging either to the government or the coalition parties, to succeed in their effort to send the government packing, on Thursday.

Following the demise of Khyal Zaman, who was the PTI MNA from Hangu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), the number of members of the ruling party in the NA has now come down to 155, while as far as its coalition parties are concerned, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) has seven seats; Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and Balochistan Awami Party has five seats each; Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) has three, while Awami Muslim League one and Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) has one seat each. 

The government also enjoys the support of two independents.

All these members together take the numerical strength of the government and its allied parties in the NA to 179.

It is to be borne in mind that currently 51 PTI MNAs are those who had defected from other parties.

And when it comes to the opposition, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has 84 seats; Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has 56; Muttahida Majlise Amal 15; Balochistan National Party (BNP) four, while Awami National Party (ANP) has one seat.

Just like the government, the opposition, too, enjoys the backing of two independent MNAs.

All put together, the number of members of the opposition in the lower house of the parliament presently stands at 162.    

Ali Wazir, an opposition member, is in jail these days.   

Although, the opposition has 17 members less than that of the government but since the support of 172 MNAs is required for the formation of a government, the opposition can still form the government only if it manages to enlist the support of 10 more members of the National Assembly.

A few months back, Prime Minister Imran Khan had received 178 votes when he had sought a vote of trust from the lawmakers following his defeat in the Senate elections from Islamabad seat.  

The constitution makes voting mandatory within seven days of the tabling of the no-trust motion in the lower house.

However, it also says that there should be no voting within three days of the tabling of the motion.

In this case, votes are cast through open ballot.

And in order to convene the assembly’s session for the purpose, the opposition is supposed to submit a requisition.