Abstention from NA session on voting day is negation to Article 17 | By Kanwar M Dilshad


Abstention from NA session on voting day is negation to Article 17

THE presiding officer of National Assembly allowed leader of opposition to formally table the no-confidence motion as per Article 95 against the prime minister.

Semi victory of opposition was that 161 opposition members supported the motion for further proceeding under the constitution, a minimum of 20 percent that is 69 members of the total 341 members House is required to support the resolution for its adminition and tabling.

The resolution, which states. This House is of the view that the prime minister has lost the confidence of the majority of the members of the National Assembly of Pakistan and, therefore, he should cease to hold the office.

Soon after presentation of the resolution, the presiding officer adjourned the sitting till March 31 for a debate.

Under the Constitution, the Speaker is now bound to put the resolution for a vote not before March 31 and latter than April 4.

Before allowing leader of the opposition to table the resolution, the Deputy Speaker gave the floor to Zain Qureshi to introduce the 26th Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2022 seeking the creation of South Punjab province.

The bill had been submitted by Shah Mahmoud Qureshi on 28 th March. The resolution on the creation of Soth Punjab moved has been moved in uttera violation of sub-rule 4 of the Rule 37 which bars introduction of any other business in the House before the tabling of the resolution on vote of no-confidence against the prime minister.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed all 155 members of the National Assembly belonging to the PTI to abstain from attending the NA session on the day of voting on no-confidence motion against him, asking only the designated members of the party to defend him during the debate on the opposition move.

In an identical letter to all the 155 MNAs of the ruling party, the PM warrend the MNAs that they could be deseated from parliament under Article 63-A of the Constitution if they attended the session on the day of voting against him.

As leader of the House, he made it clear to all PTI members…. no member shall violate any instruction or extend any favour, relating to the vote of no-confidence to the other Parliamentary party group whatsoever.

He warned any violation of these directions shall be treated as express defection in terms of Article 63-A.

It’s my considered opinion that letter addressed to 155 members of NA is not in spirit of Article 63-A and Article 17 and also the Article 19 A.

The action can be taken after casting the vote in favour of no-confidence move and detail procedures have been mentioned in the Article 63-A.

To deseat any member of Parliament is perogative of the Election Commission of Pakistan and Supreme Court of Pakistan.

But as per section of 210 of Election Act 2017 the party membership can be withdrawn as per constitution of the party after going through all procueders.

The Prime Minister should keep in mind that the framers of the Constitution had provided for disqualification and deseating of the member in clear terms where they demanded it necessary.

—The writer is former Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan and currently Chairman National Democratic Foundation.


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