close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
October 17, 2020

Chaos rules in NA as govt moves Elections (Amendment) Bill

Top Story

October 17, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pandemonium broke out in the 27th session of the National Assembly on Friday, as the government moved the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2020 in the House.

Carrying placards, the opposition members raised slogans ‘political victimization not acceptable’ as they registered a protest against the summoning of the National Assembly session in the evening coinciding with the first public meeting of the Pakistan Democratic Alliance (PDA) in Gujranwala.

Prime Minister Imran Khan sat in the House for a few minutes and then left, as the opposition members continued sloganeering during the Question-Hour. After making requests to the opposition members to take seats, Speaker Asad Qaiser had to suspend proceedings for 20 minutes, just 15 minutes after inception.

On resumption, opposition member Syed Naveed Qamar strongly objected to the summoning of the session on Friday, as the day coincided with the PDM’s first public meeting in Gujranwala.

“This practice is against the democratic norms and undermines dignity of the Parliament. There is no concept of the parliament without opposition,” he said, adding that the opposition members could not attend proceedings in the prevailing situation. As the oppositionmembers walked out, PPP member Abdul Qadar Patel pointed out lack of quorum. However, on counting, the quorum was found complete.

The Speaker allowed Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan to introduce the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2020 before the adjournments of proceedings till Monday evening.

The cabinet approved the electoral reforms package consisting of the Constitution (twenty-sixth Amendment) Bill, 2O2O and the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020 in its meeting on January 28 this year.

These bills cover the Senate elections, women and minorities reserved seats, delimitation of constituencies on the basis of enrolled voters instead of population, voting rights to overseas Pakistanis and conditional participation of dual nationals in the election process.

The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020 provides that the seat of a returned candidate shall become vacant if he or she does not take oath within sixty days from the date of the first sitting of the National, Senate or the Local government.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with technical assistance of Nadra shall have full mandate to facilitate or involve overseas Pakistanis for exercising their right of vote during elections in the country and such exercise shall be subject to technical efficacy, secrecy, security and financial feasibility.

The political parties would be allowed to submit a fresh priority list of their candidates for reserved seats of the National Assembly within three days of announcement of the final results of general elections.