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Pakistan: Balochistan Assembly dissolved
QUETTA, (The News): Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi on Monday dissolved the provincial assembly on the advice of Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani, as politicians belonging to different politico-religious groups accelerated their efforts to make their favourites part of the caretaker set-up.
The Governor’s Secretariat issued the notification after the chief minister sent an advice to the governor for the dissolution of the assembly on Monday morning. “In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 112(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973, Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi on the advice of the Chief Minister Balochistan is pleased to dissolve the provincial assembly of Balochistan from March 18, 2013,” said the notification.
“Nawab Aslam Raisani would continue to act as the chief minister until a caretaker set-up is agreed upon by him and the opposition leader in the provincial assembly,” said a senior official of the Balochistan government.
Raisani was earlier quoted as saying that the provincial assembly would be dissolved on Tuesday (today) but he sent the advice after the federal government accepted his long-standing demand and transferred the Balochistan chief secretary.
The dissolution of the assembly came a day after the National Assembly was dissolved on Sunday. Now, a caretaker set-up will take over the provincial government to oversee the general elections which, according to the Constitution, have to be held within 60 days.
The Constitution also stipulates that the caretaker set-up will have to be agreed upon by the chief minister and the opposition leader in the provincial legislature — which is also a bone of contention among the outgoing lawmakers.
Raisani enjoyed an overwhelming majority of some 60 lawmakers in the 65-strong House — almost all of them enjoying ministerial or other posts in the provincial government. But in a revolt on Sunday, 34 ministers sent their resignations to the governor 18 of which were accepted immediately.
Those who resigned belonged to Raisani’s own PPP, PML-Q, BNP-A, JUI-F, PML-N and some independents, who all enjoyed the privileges of ministers during the last five years.
On Sunday, a majority of lawmakers in the Raisani-led coalition government changed sides and moved to the opposition, giving a new twist to the ongoing political turmoil in the province. The resignations broke Raisani’s majority in the House and the newly-formed opposition led by Tariq Magsi, a younger brother of Governor Zulfiqar Magsi, even outnumbered those on the treasury benches, eliminating chances for the government to hand-pick an opposition leader for consultations on the caretaker set-up.
Meanwhile, the Balochistan High Court (BHC) has stopped the notification of Maulana Abdul Wasay’s appointment as the leader of opposition in the provincial assembly and restored Tariq Magsi as the opposition leader. Tariq Magsi filed a petition with the BHC, challenging the notification issued by the provincial assembly speaker Syed Matiullah Agha. On Sunday night, the speaker notified Senior Provincial Minister Maulana Abdul Wasay as the Leader of Opposition.
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