Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf calls first session of National Assembly on Feb 29

First session of National Assembly called on Feb 29 by Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf

Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has summoned the first session of National Assembly on February 29 at 10:00 am. Hence, Raja Pervaiz overrode the decision of President Alvi to not call the session until the complete compilation of the lower house.

As per Article 91(2) of the Constitution, President Alvi was supposed to call the session exactly 21 days after the day on which the general elections were held. However, Arif Alvi emphasised that he would only approve the summary after having clarity on distribution of reserved seats for women and minorities among the parties.

Officials of the National Assembly said that the situation left no choice for speaker but to call the session. A formal statement about summoning the session would be issued later. During the first session of National Assembly, the newly-elected lawmakers would begin their tenure in the assembly after taking an oath.

Viewing the chaotic situation, Law expert Hafiz Ehsaan Ahmad Khokhar said that the president is bound by Articles 48 and 91 of the Constitution to call the session. He explained that upon the president’s refusal, the National Assembly secretary could initiate the summoning of the session under Article 91(2).

Similarly, Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency President Ahmed Bilal Mehboob said that vacant seats in the National Assembly would not impact the constitutionality of the president’s election.

During the first session of National Assembly, the schedule will be released for the election of a new speaker. Expectedly, the schedule can look as follows:

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