PPP accuses president of breaching Constitution

Rabbani says presidency bound to call NA session within 21 days

ISLAMABAD   -  Amidst a delay in summoning the maiden session of the National As­sembly after February 8 polls, the Pa­kistan People’s Party (PPP) on Mon­day accused President Dr Arif Alvi of not only violating the Constitution but also making an effort to derail the country’s democratic system.

On the other hand, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) urged that the Election Commission of Paki­stan (ECP) to first allocate seats re­served for women and minorities to the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), which was joined by party-backed members-elect, to complete the low­er house of the parliament. Speaking in the Senate on a point of public concern, former chairman Senate and PPP stalwart Raza Rabbani said that the presidency was openly vio­lating Article 91 of the constitution that bound the President summon session of the NA within 21 days of the date of general elections. The remarks of Rabbani came amid some media reports that President Alvi has declined a summary, moved by Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, for summoning the ses­sion till the ECP would not allot the remaining reserved seats to the SIC.

“It is very unfortunate that the constitution is being subjected to terrorism and the latest attack on it is from the presidency,” said Senator Rabbani. He alleged that the Presi­dent in its entire tenure had been vi­olating the constitution during dif­ferent periods of time.

“President is part of the parliament under Article 58 of the Constitution and I, through the floor of the house, would like to convey to him not to vi­olate the constitution and summon the session to ensure that democratic process continues in the country,” he said. In his response, Senator Saiful­lah Abro said that seasoned politician Rabbani should first advise the elec­toral watchdog to allocate reserved seats to the SIC. He pointed out that the issue was the main cause behind refusal of the President to summon the lower house of the parliament.

He added that provincial assem­blies in Punjab and Sindh had even elected their chief ministers but SIC has not been allocated reserved seats there. “All parties should ask the ECP to allocate these reserved seats to the PTI-backed SIC,” he said, adding that the President will immediately summon the session. Senator Abro accused the electoral watchdog for violating the law. He advised other parties to censure the ECP instead of the President.

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