Islamabad: Imran Khan government’s bizarre interpretation of the floor-crossing clause has not only left legal experts bewildered, but has also demonstrated that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will do anything it takes to ensure the failure of the no-confidence motion in National Assembly, local media reported.
The interpretation of the clause by the cabinet members shows how the constitutional government is preparing to stretch the limits of a constitutional process and its requirements to the maximum according to its convenience, the Dawn newspaper reported.
The cabinet ministers have insisted that Imran Khan, as the leader of his party, can ask the speaker of the National Assembly to disqualify the dissident PTI MNAs and reject their vote in the no-trust motion if they turn up in the Parliament despite being ordered not to do so as this shows their disobedience against the leader.
However, this bizarre interpretation of the floor-crossing clause has been totally rejected by legal experts as the clause is only triggered when a legislator casts his vote against his own party thereby crossing the floor to the other side. Thus, it is voting that is considered the act of floor crossing, and the MNA, therefore, is disqualified. To disqualify a member before he casts his vote is synonymous with punishing a person for his intent instead of his action, according to the media outlet.
Moreover, the speaker of the assembly cannot disqualify a member as his role only allows him to determine if a member has crossed the floor and send a reference to the Election Commission if he finds the member guilty. It is the Election Commission that will then decide if the member should be disqualified.
Thus, PTI’s interpretation of the floor-crossing clause is not only a mockery of the law but also shows their malicious intent to fail the no-trust move in whatever way it is possible.
The cabinet ministers stating that they will stop those who plan to defy the orders and still go to parliament shows how the ruling party is threatening its own members and proclaiming the same openly.
This has emanated a dread that a constitutional crisis looms large as the government is actually ready and willing to go down any path in order to win, reported the Pakistani publication.
Notably, the opposition parties in Pakistan are jettisoning mutual hatred to oust Imran Khan as they submitted the no-trust motion in the National Assembly Secretariat on Tuesday.