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Speaker’s powers not unlimited, dissidents be allowed to vote as per constitution: AG

Attorney general says speaker bound to conduct voting on no-confidence motion in seven days once moved in house

Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan on Wednesday said that the National Assembly speaker’s powers “were not unlimited”, and that dissidents should be allowed to cast vote as per constitution.

Talking to a private TV channel on Wednesday evening, the attorney general rejected the notion that a constitutional crisis might break out if the speaker did not conduct voting.

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The attorney general said that the speaker was bound to hold voting on the no-trust motion in seven days once moved in the house. He added that the voting could not be withheld for an indefinite period and that there was no chance of voting on the day the motion was moved.

Khan said the opinion of the Supreme Court would certainly have an effect, but the process of no-trust motion would not stop.

While speaking in another TV programme on Tuesday, the AG said that dissidents should be allowed to cast votes under Article 95 of the constitution.

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“And the ground that such a vote is barred under Article 63A may not be sufficient, but it has to be debated,” the attorney-general added.

Khan explained that if the makers of the constitution had visualized that a member of the ruling party could not vote on a no-confidence motion, they would have clearly stated it in Article 85.

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