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December 8, 2018

Rabbani says mid-term elections can be held to give two-thirds majority to PTI govt

National

December 8, 2018

KARACHI: Former chairman of Senate Mian Raza Rabbani has said it seemed to him that mid-term elections could be held in the country under a plan to enable Prime Minister Imran Khan to secure a clear-cut majority for his party in the parliament as the present government lacks the two-thirds majority in the federal legislature.

Former Senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani stated this while speaking at a press conference here at the Sindh Assembly building on Friday.Rabbani said he had failed to understand as exactly what were the factors that compelled Prime Minister Imran Khan to talk about the possibility of mid-term elections in the country although just 100 days had passed since the formation of his government.

“The institutions that back the present government should ask (the PM) as in what context the statement regarding the mid-term elections had been given. We should get to know the forces that compelled the prime minister to give such a statement as there could be a plan in the offing to give a two-thirds majority to this government,” said Rabbani.

He said that at present there was a serious crisis of governance in the country as unfortunately there was no respect and implementation on the mechanism laid down in the Constitution for division of powers among the judiciary, executive, and the legislature. It seems that every institution has been encroaching upon the domain of the other institution, said the former Senate chairman. He said that national economy had been on the verge of collapse while parliament had virtually become dysfunctional.

He said that other concerned political parties were ready for the possibility of mid-term elections in the country.He urged the present federal government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to forthwith announce the new National Finance Commission’s Award as earlier the dictatorial regimes in the country had delayed it.

He said that a democratically-elected regime should not set a similar precedent. He said it seemed that the present government would announce its next budget on the basis of the old NFC Award.

Raza Rabbani suggested that Senate should be given powers so that the government could mandatorily seek its approval if it wanted to prolong the validity for a year or so the term of an NFC Award that will expire.

He suggested that the Article-57 of the Constitution should be amended so to enable chief ministers of the provinces to become members of the Senate enabling them to raise in the upper house of parliament issues of their respective provinces.

He also suggested that a candidate desirous to become a member of the Senate from a particular province should be a resident of this province for at least last five years.

He said that voting procedure in the joint sitting of parliament should be amended so that a particular province could not get an undue edge over other provinces on the basis of its sheer representation in the legislature.The former Senate chairman said that although the 18th Constitutional Amendment was not like a “holy scripture” and this provision of the Constitution could also be further amended but the country was bound to face more problems if in case authority of the provinces was curtailed. It seems that an effort is being made to make way for promulgating ordinances by the Centre to interfere in the domains of subjects of health and education. He said that Pakistan People’s Party could never do a compromise on the issue of federalism. He said that longevity and survival of Pakistan lies in the democratic dispensation, federalism, and autonomy to the provinces.

He said that lately there had been phenomenal inflation and price-hike in the country as the prices of electricity, gas, and oil had been jacked up by the government. He said that parliament had to be strengthened in the present circumstances.

He said that supreme constitutional forum between the Centre and the provinces i.e. Council of Common Interests had been weakened to the extent that so far no secretariat or office had been established for the CCI.

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