PTI senators served notices for staying away from voting for election bill

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday issued notices to two of its senators for staying away from the Senate proceedings during voting for Election Bill 2017, which allows any person ineligible to hold office as an MNA to serve as an office-bearer of a political party.

Earlier on Sept 22, the Senate passed the Election Bill 2017 with a majority vote, doing away with a clause which barred a person from serving as an office-bearer of a political party if he is either not qualified to be, or disqualified from being elected as a member of a parliament under Article 63 of the Constitution.

Leader of the opposition in the Senate Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan had proposed an amendment to the Bill, retaining the above-mentioned clause, but it was rejected with a majority vote – 39 against 38.

The opposition parties, whose combined strength is more than that of treasury benches, had failed to pre-empt the bill without the amendment.

Taking great exception to their not participating in the voting process, the PTI issued show-cause notices to senator Nauman Wazir and Kenneth Williams to explain as to why they stayed away from the voting. They have been directed to submit their response within seven days.

The bill seemed to benefit former prime minister Nawaz Sharif who could be elected as leader of the ruling PML-N again despite being disqualified by the Supreme Court in the Panamagate case.

Earlier on Sunday, Muttahida Quami Movement Pakistan (MQM) terminated membership of a senator for voting against party principles. Senator Mian Ateeq Shaikh had voted in favour of Pakistan Muslim League N (PML-N), rejecting the amendment.