Constitution binds President to summon NA session on Feb 29: Dar

  • Asserts constitutional prerogative allows Speaker to convene a session if President fails
  • Tarar says a committee should be formed against President for ‘misusing’ his powers

LAHORE: Senior leader of PML-N Senator Ishaq Dar on Sunday asserted that constitutional prerogative allows the Speaker to convene the National Assembly on February 29 if President Dr Arif Alvi fails to summon a session.

Addressing the media persons outside the Punjab Assembly, the former finance minister emphasised that according to constitutional mandates, a session of the National Assembly must be called within 21 days from the date of general elections, thereby underscoring the urgency of the matter.

“We were thinking that the first session of the National Assembly will be held on Feb 27,” he said. “The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has forwarded summary for the session on February 17, but the President has yet to sign it,” Ishaq Dar said.

“If President Arif Alvi didn’t sign the summary, the NA session will mandatorily be held on Feb 29,” Dar said.

To a question that if Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa didn’t convene the provincial assembly’s session, the PML-N stalwart highlighted that this principle extends to provincial assemblies as well, clarifying that if a governor fails to summon the session of a provincial assembly, similar procedures can be followed.

The former finance minister refrained from delving into the intricacies of economic strategies, suggesting that such discussions are better suited for more appropriate forums.

Meanwhile, another PML-N leader Atta Tarar demanded the formation of a committee against President Dr Arif Alvi for ‘violating’ the constitution and his oath.

Addressing a presser, Atta Tarar said that the National Assembly session has to be summoned within 21 days of the general elections. “President Dr Arif Alvi is violating the constitution and his oath by not calling the assembly session,” he added.

Atta Tarar alleged that the President’s House has become a ‘hub of conspiracies’. The PML-N leader and MNA-elect from NA-127 Lahore said a committee should be formed against the President for ‘misusing’ his powers.

“If the President does not summon the National Assembly session within 21 days of the elections, the speaker can do the same,” he added while quoting the constitution.

It is pertinent to mention here that despite receiving a summary from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, President Alvi has not yet called a meeting of the National Assembly.

The president maintained that the National Assembly is still incomplete as a decision on some reserved seats is yet to be announced.

Although political parties have been granted reserved seats by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) has not received a reserved quota since independent candidates backed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) joined their ranks.

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