National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq has said, on Wednesday, that the government will revert back to the original Khatm-e-Nabuwwat clause that had mistakenly been omitted in the recently passed Election Bill 2017.
“We will amend the bill and replace the clauses related to nomination papers in the original form,” the speaker said while addressing the media in Islamabad.
Lawmakers pointed out that, earlier, during declarations being made by the candidate, s/he had to take an ‘oath’ stating they believed in Khatm-e-Nabuwwat. However, the word ‘oath’ had now been omitted from the new text, they claimed.
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On Tuesday, the lawmakers on treasury benches vowed to rectify this error at the earliest. The deputy speaker, who was chairing the sitting, said all people were on the same page on the issue.
Defending the Election Bill 2017 which immediately became a law after President Mamnoon Hussain signed it on October 2, Minister for Law Zahid Hamid said the law was not passed in isolation. He also rejected the impression that the bill had been passed to benefit a specific person, ie, the deposed premier Nawaz Sharif.
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Giving background of the provision, he said it was part of the Political Parties Act that a disqualified person cannot be office bearer of a political party. He said this provision was repealed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1975 but General Musharraf introduced it again in 2000 to persecute Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto.
The recent approval of the Election Bill 2017, with a majority vote in the assembly, removed the last hurdle in the way of the three-time premier to be reelected as head of PML-N.
The bill allows a convicted person to lead a political party — a move that many political analysts say will give a new life to Sharif’s career as a politician.