Disgruntled members of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and the opposition on Wednesday tabled a no-confidence motion against embattled Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani in the provincial assembly.
Food Minister Abdul Rehman Khetran tabled the motion in the provincial assembly. Out of 65 members, 33 backed the motion, which is also the number of lawmakers required to pass the motion when it is put up for voting.
According to the Constitution, a no-confidence motion needs the signatures of 20 per cent of the make-up of the legislative body to be tabled for discussion and half the members must vote in favour of it to be passed.
Reading from the motion, Khetran said that the performance of government institutions had been negatively affected during the chief minister’s three-year tenure while unemployment had also spread.
He alleged that Alyani had taken care of important provincial matters without consultation which had caused “irreparable damage”. He said that lawmakers had tried to inform the CM about the damage being caused, but he paid no heed.
He noted that many people in the province, including bureaucrats, doctors, students and landowners, had taken to the streets in protest of the government’s “bad governance”. In view of these facts, Khetran said that Alyani should be removed as the provincial chief minister.
Khetran also demanded the release of five “missing” parliamentarians. Claiming to be a “well-wisher” of Alyani, he advised the chief minister to step down.
In his speech, opposition leader Malik Sikander Khan outlined the responsibilities of the province’s chief executive. He said that the chief executive is someone who has to work tirelessly for the people’s welfare.
“The responsibilities also include reassuring the people that he is at the frontline in tackling the issues they are facing,” he said. The opposition leader said that the chief executive was also responsible for using the province’s funds on the people, and putting an end to corruption.
Khan then moved to the current situation in the province, where the people didn’t have access to clean drinking water or water to grow their crops. He also said that people were facing a shortage of gas in certain areas during the winter months.
“When the chief executive will not pay attention to this or the people dying due to the cold, then how will the people trust the leadership?”
He said that the people’s lives and property were not safe and citizens had to protest with the dead bodies of their loved ones outside the CM House in order to urge Alyani to take action.
He said that the parents in the province pray for their children’s safe return when they leave their homes, as the government was not protecting the people. He concluded by saying that Alyani did not have the right to be the province’s chief executive.
Later, Balochistan Assembly Speaker Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo fixed October 25 (Monday) for voting on the no-confidence motion. The vote will be carried out at 11am.
Alyani says voting will reveal ‘reality’
Speaking to the media before today’s session, the chief minister said that the motion would be tabled during today’s session and would be debated upon. Later, the speaker will fix a day for voting on the motion, he said.
According to the assembly rules, the speaker must summon the session between three and seven days after the motion has been tabled.
The chief minister, who appeared as cool as a cucumber while speaking to reporters, said that the voting on the motion would reveal the “true reality”. “I have been saying from day one that our allies stand with us.”
He also questioned how treasury lawmakers could table a motion against him. “It would [make more sense] if the no-confidence motion came from the opposition,” he said, adding that the opposition was trying to spread “disunity” among the treasury lawmakers.
“This is the first time that the opposition is doing politics on the basis of treasury lawmakers,” he said, adding that this gives the coalition government strength.
Political crisis in province
The signs of the ongoing political crisis in Balochistan were first seen in June this year, when opposition members had camped outside the provincial assembly’s building for days in protest against the government led by Alyani for its refusal to allocate development funds for their constituencies in the budget.
The protest had led to mayhem and police had later booked 17 opposition lawmakers in connection with the incident.
Following that, 16 members of the opposition had filed a no-trust motion against the chief minister. However, the Governor House Secretariat had returned the motion to the Balochistan Assembly on technical grounds.
Earlier this month, a no-confidence motion, signed by 14 lawmakers, had been submitted to the secretariat of the Balochistan Assembly, as Alyani continued to face criticism from the disgruntled members of his party over what they termed his failure to consult them in running the affairs of the province.