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Ruling PTI faces defeat in Parliament by 13 votes


| Govt defeated twice by joint opposition, says Khawaja Asif

Opposition secured 117 votes against 104 of treasury members

ISLAMABAD   –  The PTI government yesterday had to face embarrassment in the National Assembly during the legislative business on a private members day.

The opposition, sensing majority in the House at the time of legislation, challenged members of treasury benches for opposing the bill moved by opposition MNA Syed Javed Hasnain.

The PML-N lawmaker was interested in Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which will pay way for amendment in Article 63-A of the Constitution. It wanted to discourage the trend of switching political loyalties. The bill was opposed by Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Malika Bokhari.

The chair, on request of the opposition, conducted voting and opposition members managed to defeat the government side.

Through the voice vote, the government attempted to block sending of his amendment to the relevant committee. But the opposition pressed for the head count and eventually established the presence of 13 more members, 117, against the combined number of 104, present on the treasury benches. At the time of legislation, the opposition had 13-member majority.

An amendment in the bill will provide that a candidate contesting in general elections on an electoral symbol of a party will not be able to contest polls on any other party’s symbol for the next seven years.

PML-N’s MNA/ former speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq said that government had no majority in the House. This was moral victory of the opposition. “The opposition in the National Assembly during the legislation has been exposed. Rulers need to tender their resignations,” he remarked.

The opposition members encouraged, after the defeat of the government, once again challenged the government over a bill moved by a PTI MNA Asma Qadeer. The PTI’s MNA Asma Qadeer could not introduce bill titled the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 after the deputy speaker put the same for counting.

Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri said that the House had not allowed introduction of the bill after it was presented for voice vote. The PML-N member on the second time was interested in head counting on the bill. However, he did not inform the House about votes in favour and against the bill and adjourned the proceedings.

Earlier, the members introduced bills including International Institute of Science, Arts and Technology Bill, 2021; the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which pertains to appointment of judges in Supreme Court and High Court through Federal Public Service Commission; the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 for amendment in Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016, the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 and Qanun-e- Shahadat Order, 1984; the National Commission for Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

The House referred three bills to joint sitting of the Parliament which were passed by the National Assembly and not okayed by the Senate within 90 days. The bills include the Al-Karam International Institute Bill, 2020, the Islamabad Capital Territory Domestic Workers Bill,2021. The other bills introduced in the House include Pakistan Environmental Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and the Islamabad Water Conservation Bill, 2021.

The National Assembly also passed the Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Independent MNA Mohsin Dawar, on a point of order, demanded debate in the House on Pakistan’s policy regarding Afghanistan and developments taking place in the neighbouring country.

Meanwhile, PML-N MNA Khawaja Muhammad Asif said today strong Opposition twice defeated the government in National Assembly with 117 to 104 votes.

Treasury members continuous absence and quorum issues in the lower house of the parliament is a no-confidence over prime minister. After coming into power, joint opposition will give relief to masses from inflation overcoming unrest and flood of corruption issues.

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