Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – A spar is expected at the National Assembly today (Tuesday) as the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is set to present a bill seeking withdrawal of an amendment to the Election Act 2017 that empowers a disqualified person to head a political party.

The bill, which is part of the NA agenda set for Tuesday, will be tabled by PPP’s Naveed Qamar and Dr Azra Fazal. The move seeks to undo Section 203 of the Elections Act 2017, which allows a disqualified person from holding a party office.

The PPP claims that it would have the support of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in the assembly regarding the bill.

PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry talking to a English daily said that his party will stand along the PPP to get this bill passed barring a disqualified person from heading a political party. He added that PTI chief Imran Khan would also attend the session but the final decision in this regard yet to be taken.

On the other hand, PML-N President Nawaz Sharif has started mobilising the party’s legislators to block the move regarding bringing amendment to the Election Act 2017. He has reportedly contacted NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq and other lawmakers to ensure the attendance of party MNAs on Tuesday.

Media reports suggest that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had called a parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday ahead of the NA session in order to stop the amendment.

The session on Tuesday usually is started in the morning, but today it has been convened in the evening to ensure the presence of maximum PML-N’s legislators.

The ruling party requires simple majority at the time of presenting the bill to throw it out. The opposition can push for a headcount if speaker heads to reject the bill simply on voice vote.

On October 3, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was elected unopposed the president of ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz after the ruling party managed to approve a bill allowing a disqualified person to hold a party office.