QUETTA: As the provincial cabinet in Balochistan is yet to take the oath, the JUI-F has decided to sit on opposition benches in the province despite speculations to the contrary.

The party also appointed Younis Aziz Zehri, a lawmaker from Khuzdar, as its leader of the opposition in Balochistan Assembly.

The JUI-F leadership, irked by alleged irregularities in the Feb 8 polls, had decided to stay from the government and instead announced a countrywide protest drive against the election results. The party won 10 seats in the provincial assembly.

In the wake of the Senate elections, it was assumed that the JUI-F would also join the government with its 10 MPAs despite the decision of the JUI-F’s central leadership which did not want to be a part of any government.

Formation of Bugti-led cabinet delayed for another week

These speculations were also fueled by CM Sarfraz Bugti who after meetings with the JUI-F leaders, said the induction of JUI-F MPAs in the cabinet could not be ruled out.

A group of the JUI-F MPAs was also in favour of joining the coalition government but the central

and the provincial leadership, especially provincial chief Maulana Abdul Wasey who lost the Feb 8 election but later became a senator in recent polls, opposed the idea.

The parliamentary meeting of the JUI-F on Sunday seemingly put all these rumours to rest, as it named Nawab Aslam Raisani opposition leader and the parliamentary party head.

The meeting also discussed the arrangements of the JUI-F public meeting scheduled to be held on April 20 in Pishin.

Cabinet remains elusive

The formation of the provincial cabinet has been delayed for another week despite the CM’s return from abroad. He had gone to visit his brother undergoing a surgery.

Reports had suggested that the cabinet would take oath following his return. However, due to Eid and some other unknown reasons, the cabinet will likely take oath next week.

The spokesman for the Balochistan government also confirmed the delay. “The cabinet is likely to take oath after Eid,” Shahid Rind told Dawn.

He, however, said that the matters regarding the share of the coalition partners in the cabinet had already been settled. Now, the parties only have to choose their candidates for the cabinet.

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2024

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