Shahbaz Sharif’s Next Marriage
February 25, 2011
Though the Prime Minister may be making a last attempt in Raiwand to save the marriage, the divorce is almost finalized. Mian Nawaz Sharif is all set to play his second biggest trump of the game. In a couple of days his Junior Brother would send an advice to the new Governor of Punjab to formally lay off an unwanted portion of his cabinet. Under Clause (3) of Article 132, Sardar Latif Khosa will have no choice but to ask his party men to pack up their baggage and vacate the official residences for their replacements to be sworn in from the Unification Block of the Muslim League.
It won’t make much time for the Chief Minister to handover a short list of his new ministers before they are invited to the Governor House for the oath taking ceremony. The atmosphere, obviously, would be extremely cordial.
But anytime before the ceremony, the Governor may give Sharifs their first surprise and it would happen within hours of the floor crossing of some 100 plus MPAs of Pakistan Peoples Party. We can’t be too sure of that floor-crossing because the Co-Chairman of PPP may ask his members in the Punjab Assembly to keep sitting on their seats much like the MQM did after quitting the Federal Cabinet.
However, the Governor would be reading Clause (7) of Article 130 which states: “The Chief Minister shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor, but the Governor shall not exercise his powers under this clause unless he is satisfied that the Chief Minister does not command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Provincial Assembly, in which case he shall summon the Provincial Assembly and require the Chief Minister to obtain a vote of confidence from the Assembly.’’
Of course, the Governor would be much displeased the day he receives the first advice for removal of some ministers whose common fault would be their party affiliation than performance. But on that very day, he would not be in a position to invoke his above stated power. He shall have to wait until a sizeable number of treasury members move to the opposition. That would be the moment when he is mathematically “satisfied” to make the required move and he would summon the Assembly even though the Chief Minister may prefer otherwise.
The session, if called, would be most critical. It won’t elect a new Chief Minister but only re-affirm the incumbent. However, a resolution of no-confidence against the Chief Minister can’t be ruled out. Under the Constitution, such a resolution can be moved by barely 20 per-centum of the total membership. The PPP together with the displeased Q-League could throw the card which may cause a little confusion. However the safest move for the anti-Sharif elements to allow the Governor to make the required move because that way PML (N) will have to show majority.
For all practical purposes the show would be under control of the Speaker than the Governor. Thus you should always expect a ruling in favour of the Unification Block. Of course, the matter is bound to be transferred to the Election Commission before it reaches the Supreme Court.