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Sunday April 21, 2024

After president’s refusal to sign summary: Speaker set to call NA session on 29th

The summary forwarded to the president carried the signatures of the caretaker prime minister under Article 91 (2) of the Constitution

By Muhammad Anis
February 27, 2024
National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf presiding over the session of the lower house of Parliament. — PID
National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf presiding over the session of the lower house of Parliament. — PID 

ISLAMABAD: Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf is set to call the National Assembly’s inaugural session at 10am on Thursday after President Arif Alvi refused to summon the session within 21 days of the conduct of Feb 8 polls.

Official sources said the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs after consulting with the Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar will send a summary to the speaker on Tuesday (today) to summon the session on the morning of February 29.

“It has been decided in principle that the National Assembly will meet for the inaugural session on February 29 at 10am,” the sources said. The outgoing speaker will administer the oath to the newly elected MNAs on the first day of the inaugural session on Thursday.

The lower house of the Parliament will elect its speaker and deputy speaker the next day. President Arif Alvi had refused to sign the summary sent by the Parliamentary Affairs Division after consulting the prime minister to summon the National Assembly’s inaugural session on February 29.

Sources said that the president returned the summary to the prime minister with comments that he could not sign the summary to summon the National Assembly unless the Election Commission completed the process for allocation of reserved women seats in the lower house of the Parliament.

The president further commented that the National Assembly would remain incomplete without reserved seats.

As the ECP has allocated reserved seats to various political parties, it is yet to announce the reserved seats for the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), which mainly consists of inde­pendent winners supported by the Paki­stan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The summary forwarded to the president carried the signatures of the caretaker prime minister under Article 91 (2) of the Constitution.

Official sources said as per Article 91 (1), it was mandatory that the National Assembly held its inaugural session within 21 days of date of conduct of general elections.

“Now once the president has failed to fulfill his constitutional obligations, the speaker will now summon the session,” the sources said. Meanwhile, PMLN President Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, who is also the joint candidate of six-party alliance for prime minister, has called his party’s parliamentary party meeting at the Parliament House at 3pm on February 28.