President Zardari signs 20th Amendment bill

Published: February 28, 2012
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The bill will allow for parliamentarians, currently in limbo, to be restored. PHOTO: PID/FILE

The bill will allow for parliamentarians, currently in limbo, to be restored. PHOTO: PID/FILE

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has signed the 20th Amendment bill, Express News reported on Tuesday.

The amendment bill was earlier passed by Senate almost unanimously on February 20, with 74 votes in favour and two against. The bill was also approved by the National Assembly.

The bill will allow for parliamentarians, currently in limbo, to be restored and for an interim set-up to be constituted to oversee the next general elections.

Reservations on bill

Professor Khursheed Ahmed and Professor Ibrahim Khan of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) had voted against the amendment. They cited the bill’s proposed legislation to empower the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to formulate the interim setup as the reason for their negative vote.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Feb 28, 2012 - 10:18PM

    Another political victory of Zardari, not nations

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  • Tariq
    Feb 28, 2012 - 10:21PM

    Playing with the constitution !

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  • Mirza
    Feb 28, 2012 - 11:23PM

    The independent SC and its judges have asked the govt to pass this amendment. This amendment was openly discussed and agreed upon almost all elected members of congress not imposed by a dictator. It is the primary job of the congress to make laws that is why it is called legislature. A victory of elected govt to gain consensus.

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  • Syed Shah
    Feb 29, 2012 - 3:35AM

    The level of parliamentarians we have have no right to change the constitution.

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  • Saeed
    Feb 29, 2012 - 6:56PM

    The passage of the 20th Amendment has strengthened democracy and a precedent has been set for all to follow. The PPP government has continued its tradition of following a policy of reconciliation as the 18th and 19th amendments were also passed by parliament with full consensus. The unanimous passage of 18th, 19th and 20th amendments has restored a genuine parliamentary system in the country and has ensured more autonomy to the provinces. The 20th Amendment has set down a process to install a caretaker setup and hold free and fair elections in the future. Through this the PPP government has ensured free, fair and transparent elections in the country for future generations and an independent Election Commission. The 20th Amendment Bill 2012 has given the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) sweeping powers by minimising the government’s direct role in the appointment and removal of its members. Under the new mechanism of choosing caretakers, as envisaged by the amendment, both the prime minister and the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly would hold a ‘consultation’ on the matter. This is another feather in the cap of Pakistan Peoples Party.

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