Of 65 lawmakers in attendance, 33 voted in favor of no-confidence and demanded chief minister step down
The Balochistan Assembly on Wednesday passed a no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, with 33 of the 65 lawmakers in attendance voting in its favor.
The motion will now proceed to a vote—expected in a few days—and would require a simple majority of the total membership of the provincial assembly for Kamal to cease holding his office.
During proceedings on Wednesday, ruling Balochistan Awami Party spokesman Abdul Rehman Khetran presented the no-confidence motion. In his address, he alleged that five lawmakers who were not in attendance had gone “missing” and demanded their immediate release as well as the resignation of the chief minister.
“We demand Jam Kamal immediately step down from the post of the chief minister,” he said. “Due to his poor governance, the province had to witness hopelessness, disrepute, and unemployment, while the performance of different departments was also adversely affected,” he said, adding that Kamal had been taking unilateral decisions without any consultation with all stakeholders.
Leader of the Opposition in Balochistan Assembly Malik Sikandar, in his address, stressed that the post of the chief executive was important, as it entailed ensuring the welfare of the people. “The chief executive is also required to solve the problems of the masses while being on the frontline,” he said, adding that it was the chief executive’s responsibility to protect the constitutional and legal rights of the people.
Slamming the incumbent chief minister over his failure to stem gas loadshedding during winter, as well as his inability to ensure law and order, he lamented that people were forced to display the bodies of their loved ones outside their homes to get any relief. “There is no justice in the province and the use of resources is not carried out in a responsible manner. Therefore, Jam Kamal has no right to continue as the chief minister of the province,” he added.
Rubbishing the allegations of 5 lawmakers going “missing,” Balochistan government spokesman Liaquat Shahwani said such claims were akin to insulting Parliament and democracy. “Nobody can forcefully stop members from appearing before the assembly. Likewise, members cannot be forcefully brought to the assembly either,” he said.
Meanwhile, speaking to media prior to the session, the chief minister claimed that he was confident the no-trust motion would fail and accused the opposition of instigating members of his party. “We are confident that the reality will be revealed on the polling day,” he said, claiming that he enjoyed the support of the majority and would retain his post.
Reportedly, the disgruntled members of BAP who filed the no-confidence motion have secured the support of 40 lawmakers, including members of the opposition. Meanwhile, the chief minister claims the support of 26 lawmakers.