No-confidence move against Balochistan Assembly speaker questioned
QUETTA: Another controversy hit Balochistan on Wednesday after the provincial assembly’s secretary said the procedure adopted in tabling a no-trust motion against Speaker Aslam Bhootani earlier in the day was in violation of rules and regulations.
Zahoor Ahmed said at a press conference that under the rules and procedures of the assembly, consent of the speaker was required for tabling any resolution, motion, bill or question in a session.
The deputy speaker had given the permission to table the motion.
The official said he had informed the deputy speaker that presentation of the motion without permission from the speaker would be unconstitutional.
He said the deputy speaker and other members of the assembly had insisted that the summary of the no-confidence notice should be sent to the deputy speaker instead of the speaker.
The matter of presenting the no-confidence motion should be sent to the speaker in accordance with the rules and procedures of the Balochistan Assembly and the Constitution and moved in the house if he gave permission in this regard, Mr Zahoor added.
The speaker should circulate the notice to all members of the house after receiving the summary and he himself should preside over the proceedings to be held after seven days, he said.
The members would be asked to stand up if they were in favour of tabling the motion and one-fourth of the votes would be required to proceed further, he said.
The secretary said Senior Minister Maulana Abdul Wasey of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) was the mover of the no-trust motion, but the deputy speaker had allowed Health Minister Ainullah Shams to present it.
He claimed that the interpretation of Sub-Clause 7(C) of Article 53 of the Constitution mentioned in the notice was wrong.
According to the sub-clause, the speaker should remain in his office till the completion of the whole proceedings but should not preside over the session in which the motion against him came under discussion, he said. He said a no-confidence motion against the speaker or deputy speaker should be submitted to the secretary of the assembly.
In the assembly session presided over by Deputy Speaker Syed Matiullah Agha, 30 members approved tabling of the motion against Mr Bhootani.
Sardar Aslam Bizenjo and Mir Zahoor Buledi opposed the motion and walked out of the house.
The session began more than two hours behind schedule as hectic activity was witnessed amongst members, including Chief Minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani, in the house to make the move successful.
Legislators from the JUI-F, the major coalition partner, supported the motion only after the chief minister and allied parties agreed to offer them the speaker’s post.
The chief minister joined other supporters of the motion against his rival, thumping desks over the approval.
Speaker Bhootani had refused to convene the session on the call of the chief minister or to chair one summoned by the governor in view of an interim order of the Supreme Court stating that the provincial government had lost the constitutional authority to rule the province.
The chair fixed Dec 26 for voting on the motion.
Earlier, speaking on points of order, Aslam Bizenjo, Ainullah Shams, Zamarak Achakzai, Abdur Rehman Mengal, Shah Nawaz Marri and Zahoor Buledi called for legislation to protect Reko Diq and other major projects.
Sports Minister Shah Nawaz Marri tabled the Balochistan Environmental Protection Bill before the session was adjourned to Friday.