ISLAMABAD (News10) – Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday reached the National Assembly to attend the 30th session during which is seeking a vote of confidence from the House.
NA Speaker Asad Qaiser is chairing the session. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tabled a resolution expressing confidence in the prime minister. The ruling coalition has 179 votes in the 340 members National Assembly while the opposition alliance has 160 votes; however, the Prime Minister only need 171 votes.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has 156 members in the National Assembly, while its allies include the MQM-P which has seven seats, the PML-Q and the BAP have five seats each, All Pakistan Muslim League and the Jamhoori Watan Party have one seat each while two independent members are also on the side of the government.
The joint opposition has 160 seats in the National Assembly. There are 83 members from PML-N and 55 from PPP. Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Pakistan has 15 seats, BNP has 4 seats and ANP has one seat while the opposition also enjoys support of two independent candidates. However, PDM has announced a complete boycott of today’s National Assembly meeting.
Notification of the NA session states “In exercise of powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 54 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the President has been pleased to summon the National Assembly to meet in the Parliament Building, Islamabad on Saturday, 6 March 2021 at 12:15 p.m. for the purpose of requiring the Prime Minister to obtain the vote of confidence from the National Assembly under Article 91(7) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”
The procedure for vote of confidence on Prime Minister has been clearly defined in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in National Assembly 2007 which states to record the voting procedure set out in the Second Schedule.
The Rule 36 of the Rules of Procedure regarding the vote of confidence in the Prime Minister says ”Whenever the Prime Minister has to obtain a vote of confidence under clause (7) of Article 91, voting shall be recorded in accordance with the procedure set out in the Second Schedule.
The clause (7) of Article 91 of the Constitution of Pakistan states that Prime Minister shall hold office during the pleasure of the President, but the President shall not exercise his powers under this clause unless he is satisfied that the Prime Minister does not command the confidence of the majority of the members of the National Assembly, in which case he shall summon the National Assembly and require the Prime Minister to obtain a vote of confidence from the Assembly.
Second Schedule about procedure for recording of Votes states that before voting commences, the Speaker shall direct that the bells be rung for five minutes to enable members not present in the Chamber to be present.
Immediately after the bells stop ringing, all the entrances to the Lobby shall be locked and the Assembly staff posted at each entrance shall not allow any entry or exit through those entrances until the voting has concluded.
The Speaker shall then read out the resolution before the Assembly and ask the members who wish to vote in favour of the resolution to pass in single file through the entrance where tellers shall be posted to record the votes.
On reaching the desk of the tellers, each member shall, in turn, call out the division number allotted to him under the rules.
The tellers shall then mark off his number on the division list simultaneously calling out the name of the member.
In order to ensure that his vote has been properly recorded, the member shall not move off until he has clearly heard the teller call out his name. After a member has recorded his vote, he shall not return to the Chamber until bells are rung under paragraph.
When the Speaker finds that all the members who wished to vote have recorded their votes, he shall announce that the voting has concluded.
Thereupon the Secretary shall cause the division list to be collected, count the recorded votes and present the result of the count to the Speaker.
The Speaker shall then direct that the bells be rung for two minutes to enable the members to return to the Chamber. After the bells stop ringing, the Speaker shall announce the result to the Assembly.