Islamabad, May 17: After the PML-N walked out of the ruling coalition government, political circles in Islamabad are abuzz with possibility of a new alignment between the PPP and the erstwhile ruling party the PML-Q, to cobble up 2/3 majority for the PPP-led government in the National Assembly. In the 342-member strong House, the PPP's has 121 members, the PML-Q 54, the MQM 25, the MMA six, the PML-F five, and 18 Independents, besides PPP-Sherpao, the NPP and the BNP having one each.
"All these parties make a total of 245 against 228 required for two-thirds majority, thus leaving a considerable margin of 17. If the Chaudhrys and some other individuals hesitate to openly support the PPP-led government, the numbers would still be manageable," said a senior PML-Q leader said to be in constant touch with President Pervez Musharraf.
"The PPP and the PML-Q, minus the PML-N but including others, guarantee two-thirds majority not only in the National Assembly but also in the Senate," The News quoted him as saying.
"Musharraf is ready to back the PPP", the unidentified PML-Q leader said and added: "Musharraf is feeling relaxed and easy since the rift in the PML-N and the PPP has emerged."
"Our main purpose is to keep the PML-N out of power and support the PPP both at the Centre and the Punjab province one way or the other. "This is the time to bring together all anti-Nawaz forces," the Q-League leader said while quoting Musharraf.
The PML-Q has been temporarily saved from disintegration as its break-up would neither serve President Musharraf nor the PPP government, the sources within the PML-Q said. With differences cropping up between the PPP and the PML-N on the judges issue followed by the new controversy over Governor Punjab's appointment, almost all other parliamentary parties both in the National Assembly and the Senate would stand by the government, the source said.
"As far as the Senate is concerned, the PPP, the PML-Q being the largest party and other allies of the government are in a comfortable position to gain a two-thirds majority," the sources said. "The Q-League's position in the Senate is extremely important for the two-thirds majority when the judges' issue is to be resolved through a constitutional amendment."
In Senate, the vote of 67 sitting members is required for the two-thirds majority as the PML-Q, having 36 senators and the JUI-F with 16, along with MQM, PPP and other government partners fulfill the purpose comfortably. The Nawaz League has just four senators in the Upper House.
The PML-Q leader further said: "If Chaudhry Shujaat is forcibly removed from the post of the PML president, it would have the support of at least one dozen MNAs. This may be the reason why Chaudhry Shujaat cannot be left out as if he separates, he could deprive the PPP-PML-Q coalition of the two thirds majority in the Senate."