The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has dealt a serious blow to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf by rejecting the disqualification reference against its MNAs purportedly involved in floor crossing during the no-confidence motion against their party’s chairman.
According to media reports, three-member bench headed by the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja heard the case while Faisal Chaudhry advocate pleaded the case for the PTI as its lawyer.
Although Tehreek-e-Insaf has decided to move the court against ECP’s verdict, the dissident PTI MNAs, in my view, did not vote in support of no-confidence motion. Moreover, they also did not vote for Shehbaz Sharif as the leader of house following the success of no-confidence motion against Imran Khan.
Be that as it may, floor crossing and defection constitute a formidable challenge to nascent democracies, including Pakistan’s. Insofar as floor crossing is concerned, it is confined to the movement of a legislator from the opposition to the government or vice versa. It is, however, reasonable to refer both terms — floor crossing and defection — synonymously.
Mehrunnisa Bangash (Peshawar)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022