National Assembly Paves Way for Polls; Passes Elections Bill 2017

  • Lower House elects Prime Minister during 44th session
  • Passes another important bill to protect the interest of whistleblowers

ISLAMABAD, August 23, 2017: The National Assembly passed the Elections Bill, 2017 and elected 18th Prime Minister of Pakistan during 44th session held between August 1, 2017 and August 22, 2017, says FAFEN in its session report.

The office of the Prime Minister had fallen vacant after the disqualification of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The election of the new Premier was held during first sitting of the 44th session on August 1, 2017. The House elected Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as Leader of the House with a majority vote. He secured 221 votes against 47 votes of PPPP candidate Syed Naveed Qamar, 33 votes of AMLP Candidate Sheikh Rashid Ahmad and four votes of JI candidate Sahibzada Tariq Ullah.

The House passed three government bills during the 10-sitting session, including the Elections Bill, 2017, the Public Interest Disclosures Bill, 2017 and the Pakistan Tobacco Board (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

The Elections Bill 2017 provided for the unification of eight election-related laws and reforms in the electoral processes. The bill was drafted by the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms and was presented before the House on August 7, 2017.

The Public Interest Disclosures Bill, 2017 sought to provide protection to the persons making public interest disclosures especially in corruption cases. The bill was drafted to work against the financial crimes, including money-laundering, fraud embezzlement, kickbacks, commissions, and other forms of corruption and corrupt practices.

The Pakistan Tobacco Board (Amendment) Bill, 2017 aimed to change the definition of term “tobacco” in order to empower Pakistan Tobacco Board to deal with several court cases and audit paras.

The government and private lawmakers also introduced 12 new legislative proposals during the session. These bills were referred to the relevant standing committees for review. The treasury-sponsored bills included the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (Amendment) Bill, 2017; the SBP Banking Services Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2017; the National University of Technology Bill, 2017; the Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2017; the Establishment of Federal Bank for Cooperatives and Regulation of Cooperative Banking (Repeal) Bill, 2017 and the House Building Finance Corporation (Repeal) Bill, 2017.

The bills introduced by the private lawmakers included the Federal Employees Benevolent Fund and Group Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2017; the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2017; the National Database and Registration Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2017; the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (Amendment of Article 5) and two bills with the identical title of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

To download complete report, click here