File photo: Chief Minister Balochistan, Mir Sarfaraz Bugti talking to reporters in Gwadar: Photo taken from a video shared by DGPR

Syed Ali Shah:

QUETTA: In Balochistan, the anticipation of a swiftly formed cabinet has turned into frustration as delays persist, leaving members of various political parties on edge and tensions brewing within the treasury benches. While provincial cabinets have already taken shape in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Sindh, Balochistan lags behind, with over a month passing since the elections.

The promise of distributing portfolios among lawmakers following the Senate voting on April 2nd remains unfulfilled, exacerbating the already tense political climate in the province.

To Thwart The Threat Of Vote Selling, 11 Senators Were Elected Unopposed

To thwart the looming threat of horse-trading and vote selling, coalition partners, including opposition factions, united to secure the unopposed victory of Balochistan’s senators. This cooperative effort resulted in the unopposed election of 11 senators, showcasing a rare display of unity among political adversaries.

Despite Chief Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti’s assurances to the press, the much-anticipated formation of the Balochistan cabinet, initially slated for April 4th, has yet to materialize. The delay in the oath-taking ceremony of provincial ministers, attributed to the death anniversary of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, further complicates the situation.

CM Bugti’s absence, linked to his brother’s medical treatment in Dubai, is cited as a contributing factor to the delay, adding another layer of complexity to the issue.

Allocating Portfolios Become A Daunting Task

While there has been no official confirmation from the Chief Minister or the government spokesperson, insiders hint at significant hurdles in the Cabinet formation process, owing to constraints outlined in the 18th amendment. With the province limited to accommodating only 14 provincial ministers and 5 advisers, allocating positions becomes a daunting task, given the surplus of PPP, PML-N lawmakers, and their allies.

As Balochistan’s political landscape remains uncertain, stakeholders brace for potential fissures within the treasury benches post-portfolio distribution, with losers likely to resist CM Bugti’s leadership. The province watches with bated breath as mounting pressures and expectations demand a resolution.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.