Govt to resist emergence of new power centres
Posted on 9 months ago
PPP evolves strategy to deal with legal challenges; President says elections to be held on time, asks partymen to prepare for polls
ISLAMABAD: With the August 8 deadline to write a letter to the Swiss authorities expiring today and all eyes set on the Supreme Court, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) core committee on Tuesday decided not to let Supreme Court assume the powers of Parliament to legislate besides once again endorsing the party decision not to seek reopening of graft cases against its leadership.
Jointly chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, the PPP core committee mandated Law Minister Farook Naek to file within this week a review petition against the apex court's August 3 verdict that had scraped the newly-enacted contempt law.
"It (the meeting) expressed determination to resist within the bounds of law and Constitution the emergence of new centres of legislative power other than the elected Parliament as law-making is the sacred responsibility of legislature which will not be abandoned at any cost," presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.
The Law Minister briefed the meeting about various legal challenges and the strategy adopted to confront them. "The meeting expressed satisfaction with the strategy," Farhatullah Babar said. Under this strategy, the government will question the power the Supreme Court had assumed to legislate by reviving the Contempt of the Court Ordinance of 2003 while declaring the new law unconstitutional.
Another petition to seek review of the apex court decision of July 12 asking the Prime Minister to write the letter will also be filed within this week. "We will explain our position before the court on the issue of the letter," the Law Minister said, adding that the President enjoyed diplomatic immunity. "Hence, no case against him can be initiated even in a foreign country."
Reposing its confidence in the President and the Prime Minister, the core committee agreed to the Law Minister's advice that the government should request the Supreme Court to revisit its July 12 decision. "We do not want confrontation with the Supreme Court as we believe in rule of law we respect the Supreme Court," the Law Minister said.
The PPP core committee also reviewed the current situation in the country with focus on preparation for elections and overcoming energy crisis. The President called upon the party to gear up preparations for the future elections.
"The elections will be held on time in accordance with the constitutional and legal dictates and in consultation with coalition partners," Farhatullah Babar quoted the President as saying. The President said that the Election Commission had announced completion of electoral rolls which were on display and advised the party leadership to ensure that every MNA, MPA and ticket holder thoroughly checked these lists so that no one was left out and report any discrepancy to the ECP for rectification.
The President said that the PPP believed in the power of the people. "We are never shy of reverting to the people for endorsement of its policies," he said, adding that the PPP believed in free, fair and transparent elections for which it was important that the electoral rolls should be free of errors and no eligible voter was left out of the list.
He said that holding of next general elections on time at the end of the tenure by the present assemblies would be another important milestone in the nation's journey towards strengthening of the democracy and further strengthening of the political process.
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