Pak Impeachment drama may echo infamous Indian cross-voting spectacle

August 8th, 2008 - 12:38 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

Lahore, Aug 8 (ANI): Like the ten Indian parliamentarians who cross-voted during the July 22 Trust Motion moved by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, ahead of Mondays Impeachment Motion against Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, it is expected that a large number of Pakistan lawmakers may too cross the floor.

Cross-voting is expected because the numerical margin in the Pakistan Parliament is very close, said an editorial in the Daily Times.

In order to get its Impeachment Motion passed the federal government needs two-thirds majority in both the Houses of the Parliament. If the strength of both the Houses National Assembly and Senate is put together, the Government will need the support of at least 295 out of 442 members (total strength of both the Houses).

Khawaja Asif of the ruling coalition claims a strength of 305 members. Since there is a difference of only 10 members between the required and the claimed strength, there are chances that both sides will try to lure MNAs and senators, the editorial said and added that there are bright chances that the ruling coalition will have to work on the Opposition members to ensure success of the motion.

Similarly, the chances of success of the attempts by the Presidential camp cannot be ruled out because it has fair possibility to defeat the motion if it succeeds in convincing 11 Treasury members to abstain from voting.

There are fault lines in both the camps, which can be exploited by the other side of the divide, as the PPP is facing a threat from Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Senator Safdar Abbasi, who seem desperate to settle scores with party Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari who had cut them to size before installing Gilani as the premier after the February 18 polls.

Fahim is learnt to have recently held meetings with the PML-Q leadership and expressed his dissent to any impeachment move, saying that it was not the right time for such a measure.

Like the PPP, there are many in the PML-Q who are not comfortable with their party leadership. Most prominent among them are six Senators being led by Nilofar Bakhtiar. Eight PML-Q Senators from Balochistan have also formed a separate group. The likes of Kashmala Tariq are also likely to support the Treasurys move. (ANI)

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