Law minister tables 26th Constitutional Amendment Bill in National Assembly

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The government introduced the 26th Constitutional Amendment Bill in the National Assembly on Wednesday triggering a strong reaction from the Opposition.

Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem tabled the constitutional amendment bill in the lower house which seeks the Senate elections by open vote. National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser was in the chair.

However, the environment in the National Assembly was hostile as the Opposition lawmakers protested with thumping desks and surrounded the dais of the speaker.

Speaking on the floor of the house, the law minister that the bill seeks holding of the elections to the upper house of the parliament through open ballot. “Is it unconstitutional to seek an amendment in the Constitution,” the minister taunted at the protesting opposition’s legislators. 

He further argued “No one wants to steal the elections, we want transparency in the voting process.” The first to speak from the Opposition’s side was the seasoned lawmaker, Ahsan Iqbal.

He said “We have serious reservations over the bill. The people have sent us to the house with their votes. We want proceedings of the house according to the Constitution.

It should not be a one-sided affair.” Ahsan further said “The democracy runs with two wheels in the world, the government and the Opposition,” he said and added “They still consider themselves standing at a container at the D-Chowk. It is the duty of the Opposition to criticize the government but the treasury members pour oil over this criticism.”  Ahsan said.

“We could not tolerate this character assassination by the government. We have serious reservations over the house proceedings. The opposition have more numbers than the treasury,” he added.

At that time, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri, who was chairing the session, got Ahsan Iqbal’s mike switched off which infuriated the Opposition which then turned the house into pandemonium and surrounded the speaker’s dais.