Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) Secretary-General Tariq Basheer Cheema has stated that MNAs cannot be stopped from voting, contradicting earlier statements from two federal ministers who had said the speaker would disqualify MNAs who cross the aisle.
Speaking to Hamid Mir on ‘Capital Talk’, Tariq Basheer Cheema said that parliamentarians have a constitutional right to attend sessions of the House.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said on Thursday that NA Speaker Asad Qaiser had the power to disqualify Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers who side with the opposition during the vote of no confidence.
Similarly, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry echoed that the speaker will not count the votes of MNAs from the PTI who have crossed the aisle on the no-confidence motion.
The federal minister cited Article 63A (1) (a) of the constitution, claiming that “the speaker can right away send a reference to the election commission against them. So, the opposition is under a misconception”.
Lawyer Reema Omer dispelled Chaudhry’s claims, saying that Article 63 was “being twisted by creative lawyers to argue [the] party head can declare MNAs have defected even before they vote,” adding this interpretation was ‘clearly against the text of relent laws and Supreme Court judgements’.
The PTI announced its strategy to counter the session of the NA called by the opposition for its no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, deciding that party MNAs and allies will skip the sessions to avoid a vote.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan flew to Karachi to solidify his support there, although he was reportedly met with a ‘cold shoulder‘.