President Alvi refuses to call NA session, PML-N, PPP react

Arif Alvi argues he wants reserved seats allocation before summoning NA session n Dar says Alvi unlawfully creating hurdle in disposing of summary n NA Speaker can summon session on February 29 if president doesn’t sign summary: PML-N.

 

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE  -  President Arif Alvi has refused to sign the summary sent to him by Parliamentary Affairs Division for convening the National Assembly session on February 29, 2024. 

According to sources, presi­dent Alvi in his comment on the summary made it clear that he cannot sign the summary for national assembly session un­til the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) completes the allocation of reserved seats for the winning political parties in the National Assembly. 

The president has taken the stance that the lower house of Parliament, the National As­sembly will remain incomplete without reserved seats to be an­nounced by ECP. While the ECP has allocated reserved seats to various political parties, it is yet to announce the reserved seats to the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), which mainly consist of inde­pendent winners in the National Assembly supported by the Paki­stan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

On the other side ECP has made it clear that the issue of reserved seats for the SIC is cur­rently review of the commis­sion. The summary sent by the Ministry of Parliamentary Af­fairs to the president four days ago has not yet been signed for convening the inaugural session of the National Assembly.

Source told The Nation that Dr Alvi had neither accepted nor re­jected the summary so far; only a verbal position has been pre­sented to caretaker government on the matter. When asked to comment senior constitution­al expert Hafiz Ahson Ahmed Khokhar said under Article 91 of the Constitution, if the presi­dent does not sign the summa­ry for convening a session, the Speaker of the National Assem­bly is mandated to convene a session on the 21st day follow­ing the elections.

However Mr Khokhar made it clear that by holding or refus­ing to sign the summary tan­tamount to the violation of the Constitution. In such situation Speaker of the national assem­bly in accordance with the rules of the assembly, can convene the session on February 29, 2024.

In a statement, Pakistan Mus­lim League-Nawaz (PML-N) se­nior leader Ishaq Dar Sunday said that the National Assem­bly Speaker could summon the session on February 29 if the president did not do so under the Constitution. “President Al­vi’s unlawful hurdle in disposing of the summary reg summon­ing of the National Assembly for election of new Speaker and Dy Speaker as a result of Gener­al Elections 2024,” Dar tweeted late Sunday. 

“We anticipated the first ses­sion of the National Assembly to take place on Feb 27,” Dar main­tained. “The Ministry of Parlia­mentary Affairs submitted the session summary on February 17, but it awaits the President’s signature,” he added. Dar em­phasized that if President Arif Alvi fails to sign the summary, the NA session will automatical­ly convene on Feb 29. 

Responding to a reporter’s query regarding the scenario if the Governor of Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa fails to convene the provincial assembly session, Dar asserted that the same outcome would occur if either the Presi­dent or the Governor neglects to summon the assembly session.

Also, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz leader Atta Ullah Tarar said on Sunday that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had always tried to derail democracy. Addressing a press conference at PML-N’s Secretariat here, he alleged that President Dr Arif Alvi was delay­ing the convening of the Nation­al Assembly session.

He said that as per the Con­stitution, the National Assem­bly session has to be convened on the 21st day after the general elections and added that if it was not convened, the speaker could himself convene it. Atta Ullah Tarar said after the notification of the elected members there was no justification for delaying the convening of the session. He said that people have rejected the politics of hypocrisy.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentary Leader in the Punjab Assembly, Syed Ali Haider Gillani, voiced concern over the utilisation of the pres­ident’s office for personal ven­dettas and opposition agendas.

In a statement issued here on Sunday, he emphasized the im­portance of upholding demo­cratic principles and stated that the presidency is once again be­ing used for undemocratic ac­tions. He highlighted the consti­tutional obligation, as per Article 91, the president is bound to convene a session of the Na­tional Assembly within the pre­scribed time frame on the advice of the Prime Minister. Gillani ex­pressed dismay over the contin­uation of President Alvi’s tenure beyond its expiry, suggesting a bias towards alternate agendas. He urged for the preservation of the presidency’s sanctity, con­demning any indication of bias in Arif Alvi’s recent statements.

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