The Speaker and Deputy Speaker

After the first meeting of the Assembly, the members take an oath. Then from among its members the Assembly elects a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker.

The election is held through a secret ballot, and the members who obtain majority of the votes from the members present in the House are elected as Speaker or Deputy Speaker.

The term of office of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker is the same as that of the Assembly. Once the Assembly is dissolved, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker remain until they are replaced at the following session.

  • Resignation or Removal:
    The Speaker may submit his/her resignation to the Governor, and the Deputy Speaker may do so to the Speaker. The Speaker or the Deputy Speaker may also be removed from office by the majority of the total membership of the Assembly. The Speaker/Deputy Speaker cannot take the chair at the meeting of an Assembly in which a resolution for his/her removal from office is being considered.
  • Functions:
    At the start of each session, the Speaker nominates, in order of precedence, from amongst the members, a panel of not more than four Chairmen to preside over the sittings of the Assembly.
  • The Speaker takes a central position in the Assembly. Although elected as a nominee of a political party, it is assumed that the Speaker will conduct the business of the Assembly in a just and fair manner, as an impartial arbiter, and manage the proceedings in line with the established norms of democracy. The Speaker is required to affect a balance between the Treasury and the Opposition benches.
  • In addition to the functions relating to the conduct of business of the Assembly, the Speaker also performs certain administrative and financial functions under the Constitution and rules. Briefly, the Speaker is required to
    • take the Chair at every sitting of the Assembly at the appointed time
    • call a sitting to order and to conduct business
    • preserve order and decorum, and to enforce decisions
    • suspend or expel a member
    • order the Galleries to be cleared or if any stranger is present he/she can be removed by the Speaker
    • hold a secret sitting of the Assembly
    • delete any remarks from the proceedings of the Assembly, and
    • amend notices and motions. 

In the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker takes the Chair. If the Deputy Speaker is also absent, the Chairman having precedence amongst those present at the sitting, occupies the Chair. In the absence of all three, the Assembly may elect one of the members present to preside at the sitting.

 

The Chief Minister

After the election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, the Assembly cannot transact any other business unless it elects the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister is elected in a special session, summoned by the Governor on a day specified by the President. The Chief Minister obtains vote of confidence from the Assembly within 60 days of assuming office.

  • The majority of the total membership of the Assembly may also remove the Chief Minister by passing a resolution for a vote of no-confidence against him. The notice for the purpose is given to the Secretary Assembly by not less than 20 per cent of the total membership of the Assembly. The Chief Minister no longer holds office after the resolution is passed. The Chief Minister may, by writing addressed to the Governor, resign.
  • A Cabinet of Ministers, headed by the Chief Minister, is formed to aid and advise the Governor of his functions. The Governor appoints Provincial Ministers from amongst members of the Assembly on the advice of the Chief Minister. A Minister may also submit resignation to the Governor. A Minister may also be removed from office by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister.

 

Leader of the Opposition

The Opposition within the Assembly has a significant role in the democratic process. The Members of the opposition who have an alternative view of governance to the party in power are also committed to the same principles upheld by the Constitution. A Member, elected to serve as the focal point and presenter of such opposing views, is known as the Leader of the Opposition.

There are no fixed processes described in the Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan for the election or the powers and duties of the Leader of Opposition, but the functions listed below have naturally come to be accepted as part of the procedures of the Assembly over time.

The parliamentary opposition bench has the following functions:

  • To participate in the deliberations of the Provincial Assembly;
  • To provide opposing views when it feels that government policy is against the best interests of the citizens;
  • To oblige the Government, through facts and arguments, to modify policies which are not seen to be best serving the public;
  • Through its voice in the Assembly, create a public platform for citizens’ views that oppose the direction the Government is taking;
  • To propose an alternative program, in the Opposition’s view, which would best serve the interests of the citizens;
  • It can also influence legislative decisions by encouraging amendments to legislation; and
  • Most significantly the opposition provides a counterpoint and oversight role for government policies. Through debate and exposition it can modify and sometimes even redirect policies. Opposing views also provide the electorate with different perspectives.