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Ahead of no-confidence vote: Govt to seek SC ruling over ‘defections’

ISLAMABAD: In a bid to bring an end to horse-trading – illegal buying and selling of parliamentarians in secret...
Published March 19, 2022
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ISLAMABAD: In a bid to bring an end to horse-trading – illegal buying and selling of parliamentarians in secret deals at the cost of popular mandate and the law of the country – the ruling PTI, on Friday announced to approach Supreme Court for interpretation of Article 63-A.

The federal government took the decision at a meeting of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan after several party MNAs announced to vote on the no-trust motion against the prime minister.

After the meeting, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said voting against the prime minister in the ongoing no-trust hype by party lawmakers is a serious violation of the party policy, which the party will not allow.

The political committee meeting of the PTI chaired by the prime minister who is also chairman PTI, discussed the legal options available to act against the disgruntled party MNAs and counter the opposition’s move to dislodge the government of PM Khan.

It came to light Thursday that around 24 PTI MNAs were residing at the Sindh House in the capital and some of them had publicly announced to go against the party.

Hours later, the prime minister called a meeting of the senior party leadership and directed the National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, to approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against the disgruntled members.

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In a series of tweets after the meeting, Chaudhry said that the government would file a petition under Article 186 of the Constitution to seek the interpretation of Article 63-A.

“...we will seek the Supreme Court’s interpretation as to what will be the standing of a party member’s vote who is found in violation of the party’s policy and is involved in horse-trading,” he tweeted.

The minister said the government would seek the apex court’s guidance on whether a person, who shifts loyalty for monetary benefit, should be ineligible for a lifetime for becoming a lawmaker or whether they could contest polls again and be elected to parliament.

“The Supreme Court will be requested to hear the case on a daily basis,” he added.

The prime minister, according to sources, assigned the responsibility for filing the reference in the apex court to PTI Additional Secretary Amir Mahmood Kiyani and Adviser to Prime Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan.

According to sources, the prime minister told the meeting that there is a need to take such a decision that no one would be able to indulge in horse-trading next time.

The prime minister also directed the PTI leaders present in the meeting to ramp up the preparations for the March 27 rally where the ruling party plans on gathering one million people, a day before the voting on the no-trust motion.

In an obvious reference to the Asif Zardari, Shehbaz Sharif, and Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the PM was quoted as saying that all the lawmakers and party members should participate in the jalsa with as much people as they can from all over the country so that “three stooges” would realise what masses’ power meant.

“No matter how much money they spend to remove me, I will fight them and I will make them cry, so that they will remember for the rest of their lives,” the PM was quoted.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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