Opposition gets 117 votes against 104 on PML-N bill: Day of defeat for govt in NA

SLAMABAD: Only a day after the opposition’s decision to adopt a joint strategy in the Parliament, the government twice suffered defeat in the National Assembly on introduction of two private members bills on Tuesday.

The House allowed introduction of one of PML-N member’s Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2021 bill, which would provide amendment in Article 63-A of the Constitution. The PML-N parliamentarian, Javed Hasnain, wanted to introduce the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2021 as private member but it was opposed by the Parliamentary Secretary for Law Justice, Malika Bokhari.

Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri ruled that the House had not allowed introduction of the bill after it was presented for voice vote. However, when the PML-N member insisted on its counting, the House allowed its introduction by 117 to 104 votes. The amendment would bars a candidate contesting in general elections on an electoral symbol, to contest polls on any other symbol for next seven years. Ex-speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq termed it the opposition’s moral victory. “This is our moral victory over government prior to joint sitting of the Parliament,” he said and added the government should resign while accepting its defeat in the House.

On the second instance, PTI’s female member Asma Qadeer could not introduce her bill titled the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 after the deputy speaker put it for counting. Following the counting, the chair said the bill could not be introduced as there are more votes against its introduction without informing the House about votes in favour and against the bill.

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