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Interim govt reacts to President Alvi’s objections on summary for NA session

Islamabad: The interim federal government addressed President Dr. Arif Alvi’s concerns regarding the returned summary for convening the National Assembly’s inaugural session, the sources privy to the development said on Tuesday.

The sources said that the caretaker federal government urged Dr. Arif Alvi to reconsider his decision and convene the National Assembly session by February 29. It stressed that the constitution does not mandate the allotment of specific seats before calling the session.

The sources from the government emphasized that Article 91 does not stipulate that the session cannot be convened if the House is incomplete.

 In response, the federal government clarified to Dr. Arif Alvi that, under Article 91 of the Constitution 1973, the president lacked the discretion or authority to delay the National Assembly session.

The government highlighted that the president’s authority is limited to adjourning the ordinary session of the National Assembly under Article 54 of the constitution.

The summary submitted to the president requested the summoning of an extraordinary meeting of the National Assembly for the oath-taking of newly elected members.

Under Clause 2 of Article 91, it is obligatory to summon the National Assembly within 21 days of the election, reiterated the caretaker government in its response. Even if the President does not call the session by February 29, the session will proceed as scheduled, as per the government’s stance.

Earlier, Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf scheduled the National Assembly session for Thursday, February 29, for the oath-taking ceremony of newly elected MNAs. The session was summoned under clause 2 of Article 91 after President Arif Alvi declined to do so, citing incomplete lower house status due to pending decisions on reserved seats.

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf will preside over the inaugural session at 10 am on Thursday, administering the oath to the newly elected members

President Alvi had earlier rejected the summary observing that the session would not be summoned until allocation of the reserved seats.

 

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