Governor asks CM Parvez Elahi to obtain vote of confidence

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Lahore: In another surprise move to the ruling alliance in Punjab, Governor Balighur Rehman Monday asked Chief Minister Parvez Elahi to “obtain a vote of confidence” as he is “satisfied” the CM “does not command the confidence of the majority” of the MPAs.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Governor directed the CM to take the vote of confidence in a session summoned by him at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, December 21st.

The development came after a hectic day of meetings between the bigwigs of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), who explored different options available to counter Imran Khan’s announced dissolution of the provincial assemblies in KP and Punjab.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Shehbaz met PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat and reportedly discussed the option of re-launching efforts to woo back Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi by offering him to continue as CM with the help of PML-N and PPP’s support after ditching PTI.

Later the same day, former President Asif Ali Zardari also held a meeting with PM Shehbaz at the latter’s Model Town residence and discussed the outcome of his meeting with Chaudhry Shujaat.

The notification referred to the “differences of opinion” that erupted between the PTI and the PML-Q “regarding political strategies, dissolution of assemblies, development schemes and transfers of public officials”.

Soon after the Governor’s order, a delegation of PPP and PML-N lawmakers submitted a no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Parvez Elahi, Speaker Sibtain Khan, and deputy speaker Wasiq Qayyum Abbasi in the Punjab Assembly.

Under the law, the CM cannot dissolve the assembly if a no-confidence motion has been moved against him, while the Governor’s requirement for the CM to seek a vote of confidence from the house means he has to ensure that he manages to secure 186 votes on Wednesday.

It is pertinent to mention that the PTI has 177 MPAs, while the PML-Q has 10 members in the Punjab Assembly. On the other hand, the opposition boasts a combined 176 members from the PML-N, PPP, and Rah-i-Haq parties.

It is being speculated that Chaudhry Shujaat, as the President of the PML-Q, could direct his MPAs to bar from voting for CM Parvez, which will make it very difficult for the CM to complete the 186 number.