Election Bill 2017 all set to sail through NA on Monday
Deposed PM Nawaz Sharif, who had to step down as Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief after his disqualification from holding public office under the top court’s Panama Papers case verdict, is set to be elected the head of the party again on October 3.
The recent passage of the Elections Bill 2017– a set of laws to reform the country’s election system – by upper the house of parliament has already paved the way for the former prime minister to once again take the helm of the PML-N.
Enjoying clear majority in the National Assembly, the ruling party is all set to get approved the election 2017 bill which envisages that any disqualified member of the National Assembly can head a political party on Monday
The bill is being presented before the lower house for approval as it was passed by the Senate with some amendments.
During proceedings in the Upper House, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan had presented an amendment to the bill which stated that any person ineligible to hold office as an MNA is ineligible to hold the position of head of a political party. However
Thirty seven members of the house voted in favour of Ahsan’s amendment, whereas 38 voted against it.
The amendment would have prevented ousted PM Nawaz Sharif from becoming president of the PML-N once again – a post which he was declared ineligible for after disqualification from public office.
The opposition especially the PTI faced criticism over the passage of the bill with an amendment that will enable Nawaz Sharif to head his party again.
The bill also proposes electoral reforms including: a fine of up to Rs0.1 million for lawmakers or three years in jail if irregularities are found in details of their assets; termination of lawmakers’ membership if they fail to submit asset details within 60 days; ECP gets additional powers allowing it to summon services of any institution to investigate irregularities in asset details.
The election bill 2017 gives greater power and autonomy to the Election Commission of Pakistan and under it the ECP will go for delimitation of constitutes after ever census. The bill will become a law after formal assent by President Mamnoon Hussain.
The very next day, the PML-N will hold a general council meeting of the party wherein Nawaz is expected to elect its chief again.