Lahore, Sep 8 : Had there been no secret balloting in the Punjab Assembly (PA), all Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) members would have voted for party's presidential candidate Mushahid Hussain, said Chaudhry Zaheeruddin, the leader of opposition in the Assembly.
Talking to Daily Times on Sunday, he said that in the past, party members had never gone against party directions, fearing the disqualification clause.
"If the members will go against the party policy in the future, a reference will be sent against them to the PA speaker. The speaker is then bound to send the reference to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) within 15 days," he added.
However, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said that there was no law that forced members of a particular party to follow its policy.
"If the PML-Q members in the PA, through a majority vote, select their own leader, they can vote according to their preference. If 43 of 84 PML-Q members intend to support the PML-N, the defection clause will not apply to them, but the rest of 41 members will be deemed to have gone against the decision of the majority and can be disqualified by invoking the defection clause," he added. owever, Zaheeruddin said, "Our party line had been defined by the PML-Q's ticket issuing authority. Even if 80 PML-Q members in the PA opt to support the PML-N, all of them can be de-seated under the defection clause."
Sanaullah said, "No law exists to bind the speaker to send a reference to the ECP within 15 days. In the past, when my party moved references against party members, then speaker Afzal Sahi did not send them to the ECP."