ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs raised objection on “The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020” and called the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs and the Minister for Law and Justice and the Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in its next meeting.
The committee which met here with Mujahid Ali in the chair, discussed ‘The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020’ moved by Babar Awan and ‘The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020’ moved by Junaid Akbar.
The committee considered “The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Moved by Babar Awan)”. At the very outset, MNAs Chaudhry Mehmood Bashir Virk of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) objected that the mover is advisor to the prime minister, hence he has no capacity to move the bill.
He further pointed out that only minister as defined in the rules of procedure and conduct of business on the National Assembly has the capacity to move government a bill. He has also submitted his contentions in writing before the committee.
Keeping in view, the given circumstances, it is recommended by the committee that the Minister for Law and Justice and the advisor to the prime minister on parliamentary affairs be called in the next meeting to brief the committee about the said issue.
It was also observed by the committee that it would be more appropriate to refer ‘The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020’ to parliamentary committee comprising representatives of all the parties to deliberate and decide the issue.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affair Ali Muhammad Khan initially committed to take up the matter with the Speaker National Assembly for the said issue. Subsequently, after detailed deliberations it was agreed by the committee that the instant committee is fully empowered to decide the matter under issue hence the representatives of all the parties shall discuss the matter internally within the parties; hence, the briefing on the given agenda was deferred till the next meeting.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affair said that the political parties should strengthen the parliamentary system and to insure free, fair and transparent elections in the country. He said that for this purpose, all political parties should develop consensus on the electoral reforms for legislation.
The committee considered “The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020 moved by Junaid Akbar MNA”. After detailed deliberations, the committee was of the unanimous opinion that the bill may not be passed as it is in sheer disregard to the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. Keeping in views, the opinion of the committee, the mover preferred to withdraw the bill. The committee allowed withdrawing the same.
The committee unanimously approved the minutes of the previous meeting held on January 29, 2021.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021