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What will happen if no-confidence motion succeeds against PM Imran Khan?

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The National Assembly is all set to vote on the no-confidence motion this Sunday after the Opposition decided to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan, accusing him of pushing the country into economic and political turmoil.

The PTI effectively lost its majority in the 342-member National Assembly Wednesday when a coalition partner — MQM-P — said its seven lawmakers would for the Opposition alliance. Before them, several other allies and PTI MNAs announced they will cross benches.

As a result, the PTI has the support of 142 MNAs while the Opposition has 199 — more than the required numbers of a simple majority, 172.

But if the prime minister is ousted, how will the next premier’s election take place?

Proposals

The NA rules and procedures mention that if the prime minister’s seat falls vacant, the house will proceed to elect a new Muslim premier without debate or any other business.

Any member may propose or second the name of any Muslim candidate for the top office, but no lawmaker’s name can be submitted twice — they can be named only on a single nomination paper.

Once the names have been decided, the names of the candidate should be sent to the Secretary by 2pm on the day preceding the day on which the election of prime minister is scheduled to take place.

Scrutiny

The speaker shall, in the presence of the candidates or their proposers or seconders who may wish to be present, scrutinise the nomination paper and may reject a nomination paper if he is satisfied that:

  • the candidate is not a member of the Assembly;
  • any provision of rule 32 has not been complied with; or
  • the signature of the proposer, the seconder or the candidate is not “genuine”

Following the scrutiny, the speaker has the power to either accept or reject the nomination papers. In case the papers are rejected, the speaker will have to briefly record the reasons.

“The decision of the speaker — accepting or rejecting a nomination paper — shall be final,” the NA rules read.

Withdrawal of nomination papers

A candidate can withdraw their candidature at any time before the election takes place.

Polling

On the day of the election, the speaker will read out the names of the candidates.

In case there is only one contesting candidate and they secure the votes of the majority of the total membership of the assembly, the speaker shall declare them to have been elected.

And if the contesting candidate fails to secure the votes of the majority of the total membership of the assembly, all proceedings will commence afresh.

Meanwhile, if there are two or more contesting candidates and if no contesting candidate secures such a majority in the first poll, a second poll will be held between the candidates who secured the two highest numbers of votes.

If the number of votes secured by two or more candidates securing the highest number of votes is equal, further polling will be held between them until one of them secures a majority of the votes of the members present.

When the prime minister is elected

After the prime minister has been elected, the speaker shall send the result in writing to the president and the secretary will issue a notification to be published in the gazette.

Will the PM be immediately sent packing?

Yes and no. According to Article 94 of the Constitution of Pakistan, the president may ask the prime minister to continue to hold office until his successor assumes the position.

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The IHC upholds Bushra Bibi’s request to be transferred from Bani Gala to Adiala Jail.

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Bushra Bibi’s request to be transferred from Bani Gala to Adiala Jail was granted by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday.

The former first lady Bushra Bibi’s application to be transferred from Bani Gala sub-jail to Adiala was heard today.

Details reveal that the Islamabad High Court heard a motion to restore the denied petition about the relocation of Bushra Bibi, the wife of PTI founder, from sub-jail Bani Gala to Adiala.

The application for the reinstatement of appeal was heard by Justice Miagul Hassan Aurangzeb. When state attorney Abdul Rehman entered the courtroom on behalf of the state, Usman Riaz Gill represented the former first lady.

State counsel did not object to the appeal being restored during court proceedings. At the following hearing, the court asked for assistance in determining what conditions must be met for a location to be designated as a sub-jail.

The court also mandated that Bushra Bibi’s medical examination be scheduled. The court subsequently delayed the hearing and gave instructions to fix the appeal for April 22.

Recall that the attorneys for former first lady Bushra Bibi, Barrister Salman Safdar, Usman Riaz Gill, and Khalid Yusuf Chaudhary, had filed an application to restore the dismissed appeal a day ago, but the Islamabad High Court had denied their request to pursue the case.

The petition contended that the traffic gridlock at the Sarina Chowk checkpoint was the reason for the delay in getting to the court.

The attorneys did not purposefully take their time getting to court. They warned that the petitioner would suffer irreversible loss if the petition was not resurrected.

IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb has voiced his displeasure at the absence of attorneys from the court.

According to Judge Aurangzeb, the former first lady would have been imprisoned if Bushra Bibi’s attorneys had prevailed in this case. The attorneys themselves were opposed to Bushra Bibi’s incarceration.

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oath-taking ceremony for the Balochistan cabinet postponed

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The Balochistan cabinet’s oath-taking ceremony, which was supposed to take place at the Governor’s House today (Thursday), has been rescheduled.
The Governor’s House spokeswoman announced that the Balochistan cabinet’s swearing-in event has been postponed. Nevertheless, there was no explanation provided for the ceremony’s postponement.

It is important to note that the 14-member Balochistan cabinet, which consists of two members from the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and six ministers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was set to take the oath of office today, Thursday.

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Senior PML-N leaders want the X ban lifted.

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A veteran party leader and former railways minister, Khawaja Saad Rafique, claimed the caretaker government’s social media ban didn’t help anyone.

Saad Rafique warned his party’s present government to avoid becoming a laughing stock since politics requires political moves.

“Bans and prohibitions come where dictatorship prevails over democracy,” PML-N veteran Javed Abbasi remarked of the social media ban.

“Can we ban matches factories fearing they ignite fire?” he asked. He said, “We scare of truth and try to keep it under the veil.”

He called the PML-N administration cruel for banning free speech.

The Interior Ministry said the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday that X, formerly Twitter, needed to be banned since it violated Pakistani legislation.

Interior Secretary Khurram Agha reported on the high court’s rulings on the social media ban petition for the ministry.

Social networking site X was down for two months in Pakistan when the hearing took place.

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