No-trust motion: Speaker summons NA session on March 25
Published1 year ago
The National Assembly speaker has summoned the assembly’s session at 11am on March 25 at the opposition’s request to present the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The speaker is convening the session “on the first available date” after the opposition submitted a request on March 8, said a notification issued by the assembly secretariat.
The opposition has termed the decision unconstitutional as the day falls beyond the 14 day period stipulated on the condition. PPP Senator Sherry Rehman has said that Speaker Asad Qasier could face a case of high treason under Article 6 of the constitution.
According to the notification, there was no suitable place available to hold the session before March 24.
The assembly hall will be used for the 48th session of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers from March 22 to March 23.
“After receipt of requisition [from the opposition] on March 8, the National Assembly Secretariat requested the Senate Secretariat to provide Chamber of the Senate for holding the National Assembly Session. The Senate Secretariat informed that the Senate Chamber is also not available being under renovation,” reads the notification.
The speaker also requested the Captial Development Authority (CDA) and Islamabad Deputy Commissioner for a building to hold the session. However, they informed that no such place is available.
On Saturday, it was reported that the federal government has decided to convene the session on March 25, instead of March 21.
The development came shortly after the opposition parties threatened to start a sit-in in the National Assembly hall from March 21.
Under Article 54 of the constitution, the speaker is required to summon a session of the National Assembly within 14 days after receiving a requisition from the opposition. Since the opposition submitted the requisition on March 8, the session needed to be summoned by March 21.
During the session, the voting on a no-confidence motion must be held after three days and before seven days of the motion being moved, according to Article 95 of the constitution.
The opposition wanted the Speaker to allow them to move the motion on March 21, but feared that the speaker would adjourn the meeting without it. Earlier this week the government had announced that the session will commence on March 21 and will resume after the break for Pakistan Day celebrations.
However, on Friday NA Speaker Asad Qaiser was quoted as saying that he has the power to postpone the session for an indefinite period, sparking fears among opposition that the speaker may not allow them to move the no-trust motion, which was submitted with the National Assembly secretariat on March 8 along with the requisition.
The opposition threatened to start a sit-in in the National Assembly hall if the speaker does not allow them to move the no-confidence motion on March 21.
Since the OIC foreign ministers conference is scheduled to be held in the same hall, the threat poses a serious challenge for the government.
After the opposition announced to occupy the assembly hall, the prime minister, the NA speaker and federal ministers held a consultation and decided to convene the session on March 25, SAMAA TV’s Abbas Shabbir reported.
The date falls beyond the 14 day period stipulated in the Constitution, but the government has an explanation for that.
No-confidence motion updates: Opposition’s backtracking, PM’s expectation, NA session date
Shabbir says parliamentary sources told him that under Article 54 the speaker is required to “summon” — and not convene — the meeting of the National Assembly within 14 days after receiving the opposition’s requisition.
The government sources also say that the charge of the Assembly Secretariat has already been given to the foreign ministry.
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