Landmark vote in Senate

Published: April 15, 2010
The upper house voted on the 18th Amendment bill. (Online)

The upper house voted on the 18th Amendment bill. (Online)

ISLAMABAD: The Senate resounded with desk thumping in approval of the 18th Amendment Bill being passed by the upper house, clearing the way for its implementation. Senate members raised slogans celebrating the landmark revival of the 1973 Constitution.

Members of the Parliament praised the president for the passage of the 18th Amendment.

Among the most important clauses which were approved with a majority consensus include:

– cancellation of the president’s power to dissolve the assemblies along with the removal of a bar on third time premiership.

– despite protests and unrest in the Hazara region against renaming of the NWFP, the clause was approved by the House unanimously.

– under the new amendments, the Election Commissioner will be appointed in consultation with the opposition leader.

– the number of cabinet members would be 11 per cent of the total membership of Parliament.

Later addressing the House, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani called it a historical day for Pakistan – one which saw all the democratic forces  united on one platform.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Z. Babar Khan
    Apr 15, 2010 - 3:41PM

    We should not trust these politicains any more, They all have been talking non sense for last two weeks and supporting “Hazara” during protests. They made made people to come out on streets, and they murdered many people in Hazara for their political interest only, but once time came they all did as per their own deals. Allah may bless the martyred souls of Hazara Movement. AaameeeenRecommend

  • Babar
    Apr 15, 2010 - 4:15PM

    Congratulation to all of Pakistani in general and to Khyber-Pukhtoonkhwa specially.Recommend

  • KM
    Apr 15, 2010 - 4:51PM

    Pakistanis once again have been proven to be idiots by their leaders. What a shame that they got a few of themselves killed in protests, burnt their own cities, caused damage to their own livelihood, by following a bunch of idiots sitting in the parliaments, and the senate. What a fool’s paradise we all live in, and spoil our own nation by following a few within us, who have landed this nation into the worst. WHEN WILL THIS NATION EVER WAKE UP???Recommend

  • Dr Salim Hosein
    Apr 15, 2010 - 6:04PM

    As brilliant as it all may otherwise seem (all the political parties coming together isn’t a frequent occurrence in this Land of the Pure) this is actually a sad day for democracy. If only the senators had the stones to do what their colleagues in the parliament couldn’t: vote against the clause that made them puppets in the hands of their Political Party Boss.

    A) Under the 18th Amendment, political parties are no longer required to mandatorily hold internal elections. How can a party that doesn’t know of or practice democracy on a small scale be expected to implement it when in power??
    B) Parliamentarians and Senators alike, the Prime Minister included, can be removed from their assembly seat for any act seen as ‘violating party discipline,’ at the discretion of their party chief.

    When the two points above are read together, that basically means the Sharifs and Zardaris -and perhaps the Chaudhry’s if their party doesn’t kick them out – may be here to stay since they don’t need to bother with elections within the party, and that sitting outside parliament, they can stifle any dissenting voice, disallowing anyone to vote according to their own intellect or conscience – the very essence of democracy.Recommend

  • Amir Sarfaraz
    Apr 15, 2010 - 6:59PM

    That name is quite a mouthful. Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa. Looking forward to seeing it spelt 20 different ways.Recommend

  • Apr 15, 2010 - 8:12PM

    I completely agree with “KM” expressed his/her feelings in above.While as well as the 18th amendment concern i would like to be short in a sentence that democratic dictatorship in and military democracy exit. Jago Pakistanio all of them have been making us fool. Recommend

  • Apr 16, 2010 - 1:23AM

    The resentment of Hazara’s non-Pakhtoon people, and their supporters, fails when their supporting reason of passing the new name without a poll is extended to other sections of the bill. If a poll is obligatory for democratically making a change in constitution, we would need polls in every other matter as well, including whether or not the Parliment has the right to pass a bill. This self-defeating approach is a threat to democracy, especially in a country like Pakistan where the diverse political interests have been preying on the vulnerabilities of the masses. The people of Hazara have been victimized by this approach of self-interest masked as a racial movement. And it goes without saying that it is high time for all to start doubting the voices that rush to the pulpit to lead and rule over the emotions of racism and rivalry. Recommend

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