Days before PTI’s planned dissolution of provincial assemblies in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a delegation of PPP and PML-N lawmakers submitted on Monday night a no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi in the Punjab Assembly (PA).
Opposition lawmakers, including PPP Parliamentary Leader Hassan Murtaza, PML-N’s Khawaja Imran Nazir, Chief Whip of PML-N Tahir Khalil Sindhu, and others reached Punjab Assembly Secretariat and submitted the no-trust motion at 9:35pm. It was formally received by Punjab Assembly Secretary Inayat Hussain Lak. The document stated that “members of the PPP and the PML-N of the provincial assembly have lost confidence in CM Pervaiz Elahi’s ability to lead the house as per the Constitution”.
It added that Elahi had “massacred democratic traditions” and thus lost the confidence of the majority of members of the house. The no-trust move was moved under “Article 136 of the Constitution read with Rule 23 of the Rules of Procedure Provincial Assembly of Punjab (PAP), 1997”. According to Article 136, a resolution for a vote of no-confidence moved by not less than twenty per cent of the total membership of the provincial assembly may be passed against the chief minister by the provincial assembly.
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 Provincial Assembly. If the resolution referred to in clause (1) is passed by a majority of the total membership of the Provincial Assembly, the Chief Minister shall cease to hold office. Separately, a no-trust motion has also been submitted against PA Speaker Sibtain Khan under Article 53 of the Constitution.
PML-N’s Nazir, in an interview with a private TV channel after the submission, said the no-confidence motion was submitted against the chief minister, PA speaker, and deputy speaker. He said there were signatures of “around 150 members” and there were more members coming from outside Lahore. “A constitutional and legal action has been undertaken after consultation from constitutional experts and we are completely confident,” Nazir added.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, in an interview with journalist Shahzeb Khanzada, said that if a chief minister wanted to dissolve an assembly then it was necessary for him to have its confidence. “That is why […] today, the Punjab governor sent a piece of advice to the chief minister to take a confidence vote before dissolving the assembly […], and then the no-confidence motion was submitted. Hence, the chief minister can’t dissolve the assembly without taking a vote of no-confidence,” the interior minister added.
Immediately after the resolution was submitted, Punjab Governor Baligh ur Rehman directed Elahi to seek a vote of confidence from the assembly on December 21. In an order, shared by the PML-N on Twitter, the governor said that the chief minister has “lost the confidence of his party president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and members of his own party belonging to the PML-Q”.