PML-N to table bill to repeal Prez's sweeping powers | world | Hindustan Times
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PML-N to table bill to repeal Prez's sweeping powers

The Opposition PML-N is set to table a bill to repeal the President's sweeping powers in a session of Pakistan's National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, beginning on Monday.

world Updated: Jan 12, 2009 01:30 IST

The Opposition PML-N is set to table a bill to repeal the President's sweeping powers in a session of Pakistan's National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, beginning on Monday.

The PML-N has said it plans to table a bill to scrap the 17th amendment of the constitution, under which the President is empowered to dissolve elected assemblies, dismiss the Prime Minister and appoint the service chiefs. The amendments were incorporated in the constitution during the rule of former President Pervez Musharraf. However, Parliamentary Minister Affairs Babar Awan, a top leader of the ruling Pakistan People's Party, has said that the controversial constitutional provisions can only be amended and not abolished.

"The 17th amendment also provides constitutional cover to some national institutions," he said. The PPP's failure to scrap the President's sweeping powers had caused friction with the PML-N when it was part of the ruling coalition last year.

The PML-N split from the alliance in August last year to sit in the opposition.

Any amendment in the constitution requires a two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament and observers believe the PML-N's move will succeed only if it joins hands with its arch-rival PML-Q.