Governor is empowered to impose Governor Rule
AS was anticipated, the coalition government has employed a two-pronged strategy to block the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly, which Imran Khan has earlier promised would be triggered.
The Punjab Governor has directed CM Punjab to secure a vote of confidence under Article 130, and must also defeat a no-confidence motion moved against him by the opposition in the Punjab Assembly before he can exercise the powers he needs to dissolve the provincial assembly.
It should be kept in view that the Supreme Court of Pakistan in May 2022 verdict on Article 63(A) precludes the possibility of any dissenting lawmakers from either the PTI or the PML-Q upsetting the balance of power in the Punjab by voting against their parliamentary party line.
Assuming that voting is held in both instances, the success or failure of both the vote of confidence and the vote of no-confidence would therefore seem to rest in the ruling coalition hands. That said, the PDM can also convince enough PTI or PML-Q voters to abstain from voting.
Those abstaining from the PTI would already have the prospect of being de-seated in case of victory, while PML-Q lawmaker would not have to worry as their fate would rest in Chaudhry Shujaat’s hand.
Therefore, the matter is, what does Chaudhry Pervaiz want, and will the PTI be able to maintain discipline and loyalty within its rank? As regards the first question, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has sent out enough mixed messages over the past week or so that it seems that, just as he has on past occasions, is milking this opportunity for far more than his party’s modest political stature deserves.
As regards to the second, while unsavory deals may be employed to turn the tide, as they have in the past, it is also up to the PTI to keep its lawmakers together.
With the fate of the country’s political future, now resting in its MPAs hands, how many will stay true to Mr. Imran Khan’s vision, and how many will break rank?
On the other hand, in a title front that move, Governor Punjab termed the ruling of Punjab Assembly’s Speaker disposing of his directive regarding the vote of confidence under constitution, whereas the coalition government hinted at the imposition of Governor’s Rule in Punjab, as per Article 234 of the Constitution.
Its interesting to note that the Speaker Punjab assembly passed his ruling in chit chat atmosphere with media persons. It has no legal status as per Rules of Business of assembly, the Speaker should make announcement in assembly session and not in chit chat manner.
As per Article 234 of the Constitution, Governor’s Rule could be imposed for two months through a resolution in a joint session of Parliament but the period could be extended to six months.
Since the Chief Minister of Punjab failed to take the trust vote in the Punjab Assembly in compliance with the governor’s order on 21st Dec, legally he ceases to hold his office and the Governor is empowered to issue an order de-notifying the Chief Minister. Now in the circumstances all was not well.
Imran Khan needs to give it a rest. His expectation from the defence forces that they should be guiding the government towards an early election is quite embarrassing.
It gives the impression that he has learnt little from his years in power and that any regrets that he had about never really being in the driving seat were more an expression of unhappiness with the last chief of army staff who seems to have let go of his hand towards the end rather than an actual realisation that governance should always remain the exclusive domain of the politician.
For a political leader, all legitimacy and power flow from the court of public opinion. As a public representative, his place is either in parliament or at the negotiating table, fighting to get the people he represents what they want. There are only two legitimate paths open for him at the moment.
He can sit tight, refuse to negotiate, and wait till the next elections come around on schedule, or he can return to Parliament, initiate a dialogue, present his case, and, through some compromise, reach a deal with the coalition government over an early election. Imran Khan must ask himself whether Pakistan’s welfare should be above.
Ch Pervaiz Elahi in an interview with a media house said his historical relationship with the establishment is long lasting and is never broken under any circumstances and added that he even endured tough times during his relationship with the establishment.
Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi went head on against the only PTI and its chairman rejecting Imran Khan’s continuous criticism of former army chief and asserting that his party would no longer tolerate any remarks against Qamar Javed Bajwa because he is our and PTI’s benefactor.
However, Imran Khan yet again described the former Army Chief as corrupt but insisted that he would not act against him if he regained power.
—The writer is former Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan and currently Chairman National Democratic Foundation.