Linking MP’s defections to morality not correct, says Abid Minto

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Abid Hassan Minto, a lawyer and ex-president of Awami Workers Party, has written a letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial, in which he has argued that linking violation of the party lines by a member of parliament (MP) with morality is not justified,

He says he is writing the letter because no door has been left open for any individual or an organisation to become a party to the hearing of presidential reference, seeking interpretation of article 63-A of the constitution.

He adds that the text of the reference as well as the comments being given by the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) suggest that a lawmaker defecting to other party stands disqualified for life.

Minto contended that by giving the right to an independent candidate to join any party after getting elected, the constitution itself has provided a legal cover to ‘defection’.

He is of the view that the notion that an MP by switching his or her loyalty to other party violates the rights of the people of his or her constituency is not sound. Minto, in his letter, asserts that the role of a president is neutral.

He goes on to add that Prime Minister Imran said on March 23 that the reference had been filed with the view to stop ‘the sale and purchase of votes.’ “Truth of the matter is that the president cannot seek an opinion court’s opinion for safeguarding the political interests of the prime minister,” he argued.

 

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