LAHORE / PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has summoned a meeting of its parliamentary party in the Punjab Assembly to discuss options available for dislodging the alliance of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) ruling the province or at least barring it from dissolving the assembly.
The parliamentary party will meet at PML-N’s provincial secretariat in Model Town on Monday (today) under the chairmanship of opposition leader Hamza Shehbaz.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan had announced in Rawalpindi on Saturday that party members would tender their resignations from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies, the two provinces where the Imran-led party is in power, to put pressure on the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government in Centre for early elections across the country.
The opposition parties in the 371-strong Punjab Assembly enjoy the support of 179 MPAs — 167 of PML-N, seven of PPP, four independents and one of the Rah-i-Haq Party. They need seven more votes to see a no-confidence motion succeed against PTI-PML-Q-supported Chief Minister Parvez Elahi.
The opposition cannot pin its hopes on the backing of the disgruntled legislators among the PTI and PML-Q ranks because as per the Supreme Court’s orders their votes would not be counted if polled against the party policy, while they would also stand disqualified as assembly members.
The other possibility is that the governor asks the chief minister to take a vote of confidence as in this case the disgruntled members of the ruling alliance may abstain during the no-confidence vote and may also avert their likely disqualification.