Vote of no-confidence: PTI’s allies hold all the cards

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during a joint news conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (not pictured) at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan November 19, 2020. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail – RC2C6K9V0433

MANEND NEWS, Ever since PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari suggested a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan to topple the PTI government, there has been much debate about whether the Opposition alliance has the number it needs. 

Today, we explain what a no-confidence motion is, where does the Opposition stand and what are the chances of PM Imran Khan getting de-seated.

What is a no-confidence motion?

no-confidence motion is when a group of political parties decide that they do not want the incumbent prime minister to continue.

Article 95 of the Constitution reads that for such a motion to be tabled it will need the support of 20% of the total membership of the national assembly. But for the motion to sail through the parliament it will need a simple majority.

Once passed, the no-confidence motion has the power to trigger a general election and could see a new prime minister appointed.

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.

Does the opposition have enough votes to de-seat the prime minister?

At the moment, there are 340 parliamentarians in the 342-member National Assembly as two seats are up for by-elections next month. 

This means that the Opposition requires only one member of the NA to vote in favour of the motion than the number voting against it. 

That number is 171.

How many votes does the opposition alliance have right now?

As of now it only has 158 votes in the House. 

Here is a breakdown:

Where does the ruling party stand?

With the support of its coalition partners, the PTI holds majority in the August House with a total of 178 votes. 

Here is a breakdown:

What are the Opposition’s options? 

The Opposition wants the no-confidence motion to sail through the lower house of the Parliament, it will need 21 more votes than the ruling party. 

To accomplish this, the Opposition will need to secure support of four independent parliamentarians and at least three other political parties – who are, at the moment, in a coalition with the PTI. 

The three political parties that can make or break the PTI government are: MQM-P, PML-Q, GDA or BAP.

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