Opposition's vote of no confidence

Opposition intensifies its efforts to bring vote of no-confidence against PTI government

There is no doubt that the PTI government is under economic and political pressure with growing public disenchantment with its poor governance.  The opposition is looking to exploit the situation. The opposition parties have intensified their efforts to move vote of no-confidence against PTI government.

The PPP and PML-N is trying to overcome differences and prepare a joint strategy and plan against the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan. PDM will meet on February 11 to make decisions about the future course of action.

 Since the leadership meeting of PML-N and PPP in Lahore couple of days ago, lot of behind the scene political maneuvering is taking place.  They have started to contact the government allies. PML-N leadership met with MQM-P PPP leadership met with PML-Q leadership to win their support against the government.

PML-Q and MQM-P leaders also met each other to decide the future course of action. The Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to organise public gatherings to mobilise his supporters. It seems that political temperature is going to rise in the country in the coming weeks. All sides are assessing their position and will take time before making a final push.

It is just the begriming of a long process. The no-confidence motion will need lot of effort and home work. The opposition will have to offer the government allies more than the PTI government. For instance, PML-Q will seek the position of CM Punjab in return for its support. MQM-P will demand more share in federal government and upcoming local government elections in Sindh. Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) has its own demands in return for support.

The support of establishment will also be a decisive factor. If establishment decided to remain neutral then the opposition has a chance. Otherwise it will be a hard task to oust PTI government. PML-Q has already announced that it will go with the establishment. The opposition will also need to build momentum to put pressure on the government. There is still lot that needs to be done before moving the no-confident motion. It is still a long way to go for opposition.

For the opposition to raise its game and be effective it needs to resolve its internal dilemmas, offer real alternatives to the policies they oppose and unite for shared objectives. Otherwise, all the noise opposition parties make will be just sound and fury signifying little.

While Prime Minister Khan is no more confident of the establishment’s support the PDM is still unsure if a no-confidence move would succeed against him. While there are reasons for the establishment’s estrangement from the PTI government, the former would not favour the fall of the PTI government without an alternative arrangement.

 The PDM knows that unless the allies abandon Imran Khan, or a sufficient number of PTI MNAs are willing to openly vote against their own government, there is little chance of the no-confidence move being successful. It suits the PTI’s coalition partners to extract as many benefits as they can from a beleaguered government.

There are claims that some of the PTI members are willing to rebel in return for PML-N tickets in Punjab which might not suit the latter. The PDM has therefore decided to move cautiously instead of launching a frontal attack in the absence of solid guarantees.

Meanwhile going for a long march on Islamabad suits both the PPP and PDM. The bigger the opposition’s processions the greater the demoralization in the PTI’s ranks that could lead more PTI lawmakers to veer towards the opposition and openly rebel against their own leadership.

The opposition has geared up their campaign on the one side by reviving Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and on the other trying to fence their differences which still exist.

Whether the opposition succeeds to oust the government or not, one thing can be said with certainty that political instability will increase in the coming weeks. The opposition’s fresh bid will further divert the attention of the government from real issues. It will be focused on its survival and counter political strategy.

                                                                              The Editor

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