Senate resolution, an after-thought

THE Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution against a legal provision enacted through the Elections Bill, 2017 that had allowed a person ineligible to contest elections to become an office-bearer of a political party. Jointly moved by several opposition groups, the resolution against the law that made it possible for former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to get elected as President of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz was passed with 52 votes in favour. A total of 28 members from the PML-N and its allies voted against it. A Senator from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas also voted against the opposition-sponsored resolution, while another one abstained during the voting.
It is quite obvious that the move of the opposition parties, led by PPP’s Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, is nothing but an attempt to prove their brute majority in the upper house where they suffered a humiliating defeat during vote on an amendment in the Election Bill. The opposition has absolute majority but it was because of efforts of the treasury benches that they were able to secure the necessary votes for passage of the amendment. Law Minister Zahid Hamid rightly pointed out that a law cannot be undone by adoption of a resolution but the opposition, obviously, has its own agenda of creating problems for incumbent government through every possible means and therefore, proceeded ahead with its plans to pass the resolution. It will serve no purpose except to indulge in hollow rhetoric on the issue as the law in question was passed by both houses of Parliament through the set procedure and became an act of Parliament after assent of the President. Attempt to make a piece of law controversial through a resolution is regrettable as it has sent a clear message that some parties were against political stability and want to bring Parliament into disrepute.

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