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August 25, 2015

No legal obligation for urgent election of NA speaker

National

August 25, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The office of the National Assembly Speaker fell vacant on Monday but neither the Constitution nor any law defines any specific period during which election for the new speaker must be held if the assembly is not in session.
Under Article 53(7) of the Constitution, the office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker shall become vacant if he ceases to be a member of the Assembly.
Article 53 of the Constitution and Clause 9 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007 define methodology to for election of speaker at the time when a new assembly comes into being or when required.
In case of new assembly, the elections of speaker are held immediately after newly elected member take oath. However, the Constitution is silent about when the election for the speaker will be held in case the office falls vacant because of his resignation or disqualification.
However, Clause 11 of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007 address this issue as, “11. Vacancy in the office of the Speaker or Deputy Speaker.- Whenever the office of the Speaker or Deputy Speaker becomes vacant, an election to fill that office shall be held,-
(a) if the Assembly is in session, as soon as possible during the session; and
(b) if the Assembly is not in session, at the commencement of its next session.”
The 24th session of the present National Assembly was prorogued by the president on August 13. Though there is also a proposed schedule of sessions, usually every next session is summoned after a gap of 15 to 30 days.
According to experts, the ECP has nothing to do with the election of Speaker, Deputy Speaker or the Prime Minister and these are managed by the National Assembly Secretariat under Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly.
In case of disqualification of Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, the National Assembly is under no obligation to elect speaker at some early time and the

question of election of speaker will only arise when the National Assembly session will be called by the president of Pakistan.