Islamabad (October 23, 2017): The Senate on Monday approved an amendment to clause 203 of the Elections Bill 2017, barring a disqualified person from heading a political party.
During the Senate session, opposition parties tabled amendments to the much-debated clause of the previously approved Elections Bill 2017.
Clause 203 of the Elections Bill 2017 pertains to membership of political parties, which allows every citizen to have the right to form or be a member or office-bearer of a political party, despite the person being out of the service of Pakistan.
However, the amendment tabled in the Senate suggests that a person who is not eligible to become a member of the Parliament cannot head a political party.
The amended bill was opposed by the government with Federal Minister of Law Zahid Hamid expressing reservations.However, it was passed with a clear majority of 49, including leaders from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, voting in favour of the amendment.
Earlier in the Senate, on October 11, a resolution was passed on the same matter.
The resolution, presented by Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan, stated that a person who is not eligible to become a member of the Parliament or has been disqualified cannot lead any political party.
The step was taken against the approval given to ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif to head the ruling party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, after amendments were made to the Elections Bill, 2017.
PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan reacted to development on the Elections Bill, 2017, saying such a resolution, which called for distancing a leader from its people, meant nothing to them.He added passing of the amended bill meant “Bhuttoism has lost” while “Musharraf and Ayubism won”.
However, the senator said, people of Pakistan still consider Nawaz Sharif their leader.
The bill moved by Taj Haider and others provides to amend the Election Act 2017.
The Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2017,” the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017,” the Federal Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2017,” the National Commission on the Status of Women (Amendment) Bill, 2017, the Prevention and Management of Conflict of Interest Bill, 2017″ were also introduced in the house today.
The Chair referred the bills to the concerned committees of the House.