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ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser Tuesday dared the opposition parties to prove that the number of lawmakers present in National Assembly was less than 178 when the prime minister was getting the vote of confidence, he would step down as custodian of the House.

Talking to journalists along with Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Qaiser said that the whole media was covering the event as all 178 members were there except him and Faisal Vawda.

Responding to the claim made by opposition parties that there were less than 178 members present during the vote of confidence in Lower House of the Parliament, the Speaker challenged the opposition to name missing members [MNAs]. He said that there was a need to make democracy stronger.

On the day of the vote of confidence, opposition lawmaker Mohsin Dawar, who had turned up for the proceedings despite a wider boycott by the opposition, claimed that the National Assembly did not actually have 178 government members as the final vote tally showed.

He had made the claim after Prime Minister won his vote of confidence with 178 votes. Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani said that he would visit all members of the Senate for their vote for his re-election bid.

“I can go anywhere seeking if I am a candidate for chairman Senate, I will go to everyone. I will also beg votes from the opposition’s members. Yousaf Raza Gillani can also beg votes for the treasury’s members,” he said.

He added that everyone needs to be taken along for the sake of democracy.

Sanjrani is seeking re-election as Senate chairman after the end of three years tenure. The opposition has nominated newly-elected Senator and former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani as their candidate for the chairman’s slot. The election promises to be a close contest, with the number split in a way that the election could swing either way on March 12.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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