Two PPP MPAs submitted a no-confidence motion against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on Friday in a move that may delay the provincial government's announcement of its budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
PPP MPAs Fakhar Azam Wazir and Ziaullah Afridi submitted separate motions against Qaisar. KP Assembly Secretary Nasrullah Khattak said that the motion would be presented in the May 14 session after routine procedure.
Wazir claimed that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government was "playing with the assembly" and had yesterday postponed, at the last minute, an assembly session ─ in which the budget was likely to have been announced ─ until May 14 since it lacked a majority.
Currently, no political party has majority in the 124-member house. The PTI’s strength has shrunk from 63 to 43 after its leadership issued show cause notices to its 20 MPAs for allegedly selling vote in the recent Senate elections.
The JI, which has seven members in the house, yesterday formally announced it was quitting the PTI-led ruling coalition in the province but assured KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak of its continued support on the budget, and of opposing any move to remove him.
As the JI announced its exit from the coalition, 13 members of the assembly demanded Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra ask CM Khattak to seek a fresh vote of confidence from the assembly as he had lost the majority.
"If the speaker has the majority, he should show it," Wazir said, adding that his party did not want to make a 'political martyr' out of CM Khattak and, therefore, was just asking for Qaiser's removal.
Ziaullah Afridi, speaking to the media today, observed that the PTI had lost its majority in the assembly and demanded the resignations of both, the speaker and the CM.
"Those who lecture others on morality are not behaving morally today," he claimed.
Khattak, however, appeared confident of continuing as chief minister. "I received assurances that a no-trust motion will not be brought against me and that I will continue to serve as CM," he told a news conference on Thursday when asked about his government's failure to present the next budget and convene the assembly session for fear of losing the majority.
"I know the tricks of how to pass the budget and show majority in the house," Khattak had claimed.
The JI's move to quit the government came after emir Sirajul Haq questioned the credibility of the Senate chairman election, claiming that the PTI had voted for Balochistan independent candidate Sadiq Sanjrani following "an order from the top".
Angry over Haq's remarks, the PTI had indirectly suggested the JI part ways with the coalition government.
As the relationship between both parties appeared to sour, Haq this week said that his party was "reviewing its role" in the KP government, adding that they had held back so far because budget preparations were underway and a member of their party held the portfolio of finance ministry in the KP government.
Haq, explaining the decision, said that the JI had decided "it should neither weaken the KP government nor become the reason for its downfall when budget preparations are under way", ignoring the fact that PTI chief Imran Khan had already announced that CM Khattak would not present the provincial budget this year.