Why Does PTI Need PPP’s Support for South Punjab Bill?

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Why Does PTI Need PPP's Support for South Punjab Bill?

On Monday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s lawmaker, Sami-ul-Hassan Gillani, tabled the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 before the parliament, calling for the creation of a separate South Punjab province.

In the run-up to the July election, the PTI, that is now in power, had also promised to bifurcate the over 100 million-strong Punjab province. But does Imran Khan’s party have the numbers, in the lower house of the government, to push the bill through?

For any constitutional amendment, 2/3rd of the parliamentarians would have to vote in its favor.

The national assembly, Pakistan’s lower house, has in total 342 seats, which means the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf needs 228 votes to get its way. The current standing of the ruling party and its alliance partners is:

Graphic from ECP website 

Then, there are four independents in the house.

The Pakistan Muslim League-N has 84 members and the Pakistan Peoples Party has 54 members in the parliament. So, in order to get the bill approved, the PTI would only need the support of the PPP, if the PML-N opts to stay out of the vote count.

The PPP support will also be needed in the Senate where the party has an upper hand already, before the bill becomes a law.