Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza has directed Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to file a response regarding his conviction by the Supreme Court in the contempt of court case. According to a private TV channel, the NA speaker is to announce her decision on the prime minister’s disqualification in about three days time, for which she has officially asked for Gilani’s response. According to Article 63(2) of the Constitution, the speaker is duty bound to decide on the prime minister’s disqualification within a period of 30 days. If she fails to do so, the reference would automatically be forwarded to the Election Commission. The article reads: “If any question arises whether a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) has become disqualified from being a member, the speaker or, as the case may be, the chairman shall, unless he decides that no such question has arisen, refer the question to the Election Commission within 30 days and should he fail to do so within the aforesaid period it shall be deemed to have been referred to the Election Commission.” A lawyer has already filed a reference with the NA Speaker requesting her to start disqualification proceedings against Prime Minister Gilani. “Mr Gilani was convicted by the Supreme Court on April 26 and I filed the reference next day on April 27 under article 63-2 of the Constitution,” Maulvi Iqbal Haider said, adding: “In my reference I have requested the speaker that after conviction by the apex court the prime minister has no authority to exercise his powers by any means.” “After receiving such a reference, there is a deadline of 30 days,” a National Assembly staff member was quoted by the channel as saying. Gilani’s fate as prime minister lies in Dr Fehmida Mirza’s hands as she has about three days to decide on his disqualification. The government also has to file its appeal against the Supreme Court’s verdict before the deadline expires.