ISLAMABAD: The lawmakers of parties belonging to the opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) are to boycott tomorrow’s session of the National Assembly (NA), as PM Imran Khan moves to take a vote of confidence in the session. Sources within the PDM confirmed that the opposition alliance would not participate in the session.
The decision comes before the monumental session of the NA where PM Imran Khan is aiming to bounce back from the Senate election set back and resolve the in-fighting within the ruling Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) by securing the votes of PTI MNAs along with his coalition allies.
As of now, out of the 342 seats of the NA, the government coalition holds 178 seats; with the PTI occupying 157, along with coalition partners MQM with 7 seats, PML-Q and BAP with 5 each, the Grand Democratic Alliance from Sindh having 3 seats and Sheikh Rashid as the singular MNA from his Awami Muslim League. The government is supported by 3 more non-aligned MNAs (one from Jhamhoori Watan Party and 2 Independents), who do not occupy the treasury benches but have extended their support to the incumbent government.
On the converse, the PDM holds 160 seats in the lower house, with PML-N lawmakers numbered 83, PPP having 55 MNAs, Fazl-ur Rehman led MMA with the strength of 15, 4 seats of Sardar Mengal’s BNP, 1 from ANP and 2 Independents.
Whereas the opposition was successful in tilting the numbers in their favour during the secret voting for the Senate elections, this seems a much harder feat to achieve in an open vote for the motion of confidence. The PTI’s decision to hold a vote of confidence before giving the opposition any additional time to lobby and break PTI lawmakers from the party has forced the PDM to recognize that they currently do not have the number to send the current government packing.
In regards to the session of NA tomorrow, the National Assembly Secretariat released the Order of the day for the session. The second agenda on the order, after the opening recitation of the Quran and the National Anthem, is the motion for the vote of confidence, moved by senior PTI leader and incumbent Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.