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President Alvi Urges Reserved Seats Allocation Ahead of NA Session Summons

Reserved Seats

ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi has refrained from summoning a National Assembly session, despite receiving a summary from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, on Sunday. Allegedly, the president contends that the lower house remains incomplete due to the non-allocation of certain reserved seats.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has assigned reserved seats to political parties, but the reserved quota for the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) is pending due to the incorporation of independent candidates backed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) into SIC ranks.

President Alvi, according to insiders, has not explicitly accepted or rejected the summary, providing only verbal feedback on the matter. The interim government asserts that the National Assembly session will convene on February 29, even if the president doesn’t sign the summary under Article 91 of the Constitution.

Senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Ishaq Dar, stated that if the president doesn’t summon the session, the National Assembly speaker can do so on February 29 as per constitutional provisions.

Caretaker authorities insist that convening the National Assembly session within 21 days of general elections is mandatory under Article 91(2) of the Constitution. If the president doesn’t sign the summary, the lower house session is anticipated to take place on February 29.

Caretaker Minister for Information, Broadcasting, and Parliamentary Affairs, Murtaza Solangi, previously mentioned that the first session of the new National Assembly could be scheduled between February 22 and February 29, in line with constitutional requirements.

The president, under the Constitution, is obligated to convene the National Assembly session within 21 days of the polling day. The inaugural session typically involves the oath-taking of newly-elected MNAs, followed by the election of the speaker, deputy speaker, and prime minister.

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