NA session may be summoned between Feb 22-29: Solangi

ISLAMABAD, Feb 14 (Alliance News): Caretaker Minister for Information, Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Solangi on Wednesday said that the first session of the new National Assembly might be called on any date between February 22 and February 29.

As per the Constitution, the president could convene the National Assembly’s session within 21 days of the polling date, the minister said while explaining the post-elections procedure.

To a query, he said a simple majority was required to form a government and the president did not have any power to invite a person or a party for the formation of government.

After the 18th Constitutional Amendment, he said, the office of the president represented the Federation.

He said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was bound to issue official results within 14 days of the holding of the elections and the winning candidates were ought to submit the required documents to the electoral watchdog in attested form.

If the details were not submitted, the winning candidate would not be declared an official member of the National Assembly, he added.

He said that the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs took up the matter of convening the session as soon as the National Assembly Secretariat received the official results from the ECP.

Immediately after the election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker, he said the Leader of the House would be elected.

To another query, he said secret balloting was followed in election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the NA while for the election of the Leader of the House, the process was otherwise.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman was a seasoned politician and announced to be part of the Parliament, he responded to another question.

The minister said most of the political parties had expressed consensus on Shehbaz Sharif as prime minister for the second time. It would be the prerogative of next government to decide about the size of the Federal Cabinet, he noted.

Highlighting the measures taken against dollars smuggling by the caretaker government, he said the dollar was being sold for Rs 350 to 400 in the open market.

Economic stability was directly linked to political stability, he said while expressing the hope that the next government would continue the reforms process.