National Assembly Session

The National Assembly has rejected with majority vote the motion to consider the elections (amendment) bill, 2017 moved by PPP leader Syed Naveed Qamar to further amend the elections act 2017.

One hundred and sixty-three members voted against the motion while ninety-eight voted in its favour.

The amendment proposed by the opposition sought amendment in the clause 203 to restrict disqualified members from holding any party office.

Law Minister Zahid Hamid clarified that the clause 203 of the elections act 2017 is not person specific.

He said the political parties had not opposed the clause at the meetings of sub-committee constituted on electoral reforms.

The report of the sub-committee on electoral reforms was unanimous with no dissent note.

The Minister reminded that disqualification clauses were introduced by former President Pervaiz Musharraf in political parties ordinance 2002 to keep former Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto out of politics.

He said the PPP government in 1975 had also removed the clauses laid down by General Ayub Khan about the disqualification of members in political parties act 1962.

Minister for railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said the decision about the country's future will be taken by the political parties.

He said the political parties should avoid steps that undermine democracy and weaken political community.