‘Unification Bloc can vote for the chief minister’

Law dept summary advises speaker that he has nothing to worry about.


Abdul Manan February 22, 2011

LAHORE: The Unification Bloc can vote for the chief minister if a vote of confidence is called, according to a Law Department summary sent to the Punjab Assembly speaker.

A department official, talking to The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity, said that according to the department advice, sub article 8 of Article 63 A (the law against floor crossing) will take effect following the next general election. “It is a win-win situation since the law does not apply to the current situation. The Unification Bloc members can ignore the opposition leader’s instructions,” the official said.

The Law Department has told the speaker that since the 18th Amendment does not go into effect yet, according to Article 63-A, a parliamentary leader can only report a defection to the presiding officer (speaker) and ask him to declare the rebel members of his party as defectors. “The law is silent on what will happen if the speaker does not take any action,” according to the official. He said that the department had told the speaker that he could hold on to the declaration – in case Chaudhry Zaheeruddin moves it –indefinitely.

Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique, when contacted by The Express Tribune, said that before the 18th amendment, Article 63 A gave the government the benefit of doubt. “Before the amendment, the parliamentary leader could only send a declaration to the speaker. It was up to the speaker whether or not to send it to the chief election commissioner,” Siddique said.

However, if the article is read with the 18th amendment, the parliamentary leader as head of a party has now been empowered to refer the declaration to both the speaker and the chief election commissioner (CEC). “The PML-Q can then go to court where they will be required to prove that the speaker is not forwarding their declaration to the CEC.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2011.

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COMMENTS (1)

Abdul Rahman Khan | 10 years ago | Reply This type of 'lafangay parindey' who come in different garbs in the current parliamentary system, such as independents, forward bloc or unification group are in facrt the real problem in the smooth functioning of the democracy. We need drastic reforms and changes If democracy has to function smoothly in pakistan, All such members who change their parties and throw their weight on the side of opposition parties are real traitors to the cause of their constituents. Parliament shouild enact laws whereby such 'lafangay parindey' should be barred from holding any lucrative posts in their new adoprted parties for at least three years during which they should serve the new party as ordinary mmembers. Some poet has well said:(first couplet is Allama's) 'jamhooriat ek tarz-e-hukoomat hai ke jis main bandon ko gina kartey hai tola nahin karte loton ka magar tarz-e-tijarat hai nirala chup chaap bika kartey hain bola nahim karte'
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