Musharrafs nod can assure 2/3rd Parliamentary majority to Zardari sans NawazMay 20th, 2008 - 4:15 pm ICT by admin
Islamabad , May 20 (ANI): The PPP-led coalition government in Islamabad sans the PML-N, which walked out last Monday, will be able to sail through and get the constitutional package as the 18th Amendment passed in the Parliament, only with the crucial support of the erstwhile ruling party the PML-Q, having its affiliation to President Pervez Musharraf.
The PML-Qs positive collective vote for the new constitutional amendment would come on a nod from Musharraf, who seems inclined to isolate the PML-N and create further divisions in the already cracked ruling coalition, said an article in The News.
The PPP would not be short of the dreamy figure of a two-thirds majority in both the houses of parliament if the PML-Q stands with it in approving the constitutional package.
On the other hand, the PML-N does not seem to be privy to the consultations the PPP was having with other parties to muster 2/3 majority to get the Amendment Bill passed.
We havent been consulted about any constitutional package. Now it is for the PPP to come out with universally acceptable restoration of the judges to be followed by a consensus constitutional package, the paper quoted PML-N Information Secretary Ahsan Iqbal as saying.
PML-N Secretary-General Zafar Iqbal Jhagra said Our consultations with the PPP on the restoration of the deposed justices ended when we withdrew our ministers from the federal cabinet. We have held no talks with them since then.
Another PML-N leader said: At the moment, the tension is high between the PPP and the PML-N. I think any constitutional package before the reinstatement of the sacked judges would be meant to distract the peoples attention from the real issue of the dismissed justices.
In the 342-member National Assembly, the PPP has 120 seats and its allies the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has 26 MPs, the ANP (13) and the JUI-F (6) apart from the support from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and smaller factions like the Functional League and some Balochistan parties.
This means that barring the PML-Ns 90 MPs, almost all the remaining 251 MPs, including the PML-Qs 50 members in the National Assembly cluster will stand with the PPP; otherwise, the PPP would not think of sponsoring the 18th Amendment. The big if, however, is a direction from President Musharraf to his ally the PML-Q to vote for the amendment.
At least 228 votes constitute the two-thirds majority in the National Assembly.
In the Upper House the Senate, the JUI-F has a huge tally of 17, while the Jamaat-e-Islami being component of now almost defunct Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), has a couple of members. The PML-Q has the most important and biggest bloc of 36 Senators, whose support would decide the fate of the constitutional package. Its Forward Bloc has already announced to back the official moves to restore the deposed judges and to amend the Constitution. In the upper house, at least 37 senators would be required for the approval of the constitutional amendment.
If, finally, the PML-N stays out of the loop in the passage of the proposed 18th Amendment, it will result in the total break of its coalition with the PPP. It would be like a dream coming true for the President, concluded the article. (ANI)
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