To avoid possible rejection from President Arif Alvi, the federal government has decided to table the recently approved bills from the lower and upper houses in a joint session of the parliament. Earlier, The government has passed smoothly the National Accountability Ordinance (Amendment) 2022 and Election Reforms Bills from the National Assembly and Senate as the major opposition party PTI was not present in the parliament. However, it fears that the President would not approve the bills as per PTI’s strong opposition to the bills. Therefore, sources said that the government has decided to table the bills before the joint session of the Parliament as the president’s approval could then be bypassed for their implementation while fulfilling constitution requirements.
As both the bills passed by the federal government are strongly opposed by the major opposition party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the government is expecting the Presidential disapproval of the bill as he (the President) belongs to PTI. It is to be reminded that previously, President Arif Alvi had denied administering the oath to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the federal cabinet due to reportedly bad health. Moreover, the President had rejected a summary twice sent by the Prime Minister to appoint a new Governor in Punjab. Keeping these past experiences in view, the government is expecting rejection of the bills from the President’s house. To avert the expected rejection, the government is planning to table the bill in a joint session of the parliament to bypass the President.
NAB Amendment, Election Reforms Bills
In a bid to curtail the powers of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the National Assembly approved amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance 1999. The bill was presented by Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar who said that multiple amendments were made in the accountability Ordinance to clip the powers exercised by the accountability bureau.
Similarly, the Election Act amendment bill 2022 also sailed through the National Assembly reversing the PTI-led government’s measure to give voting rights to overseas Pakistanis and the use of electronic voting machines during the next elections. After the passage of the bill, the overseas Pakistanis would not be able to cast their vote from abroad however they could cast their votes while residing in Pakistan.