The Opposition on Thursday filed a no-confidence motion against National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri at the National Assembly Secretariat.
According to Geo News correspondent Asif Bashir Chaudhry, an extraordinary parliamentary session took place today, where 80 items on the agenda were bulldozed and a record 21 items passed.
The Opposition tried their best to have their voices heard — they identified the lack of quorum, surrounded the speaker dias, and protested, but despite all that, the "rules were suspended" and the items passed one after the other, said the correspondent.
After a walk-out from the session, the Opposition filed a no-confidence motion against Suri under Rule 12 of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly.
The motion states that all the legislation passed today was done so in an illegal manner and that the voices of the people were suppressed as the Opposition was not allowed to speak.
It further states that a person, who had been de-seated — after which a court stay order was issued — does not have the right to occupy the deputy speaker's seat.
In addition, it says that the deputy speaker had demonstrated a clear bias towards the government on 11 occasions in the session.
Furthermore, according to the motion, those bills which had yet to be sent to standing committees were directly approved. The Opposition's request for 72 hours to review the bills was ignored.
With tomorrow's session to be focused on the presentation of the budget, it is expected that this motion will not immediately be presented before the parliament. Tomorrows session, in any case, will be conducted by Speaker Asad Qaiser.
Voting, nonetheless, will take place in parliament over the motion and the joint Opposition is likely to cause an upset.
The Opposition, had in the past, also threatened similar action against Qaiser, whom they also view to bulldoze agenda items through without their input.
Rules for removal of deputy speaker
The following rules apply for the removal of a deputy speaker:
- Parliament members will submit a written resolution to the National Assembly secretary to remove the deputy speaker.
- The allegations against the deputy speaker will be clearly outlined in the resolution.
- The secretary will send notices to the members of the Assembly provided that resolution "shall not contain arguments, inferences, ironical expressions, epithets or defamatory statements".
- The motion to remove the deputy speaker will be entered in the agenda of the National Assembly and proceedings will begin on the first working day after a seven-day period subsequent to receiving the notices lapses.
- There will be nothing else in the Orders of the Day other than a motion to remove the deputy speaker.
- The deputy speaker shall not preside at a sitting of the Assembly when a resolution for his removal from office is being considered.
- The chairperson will ask all members in favour to stand up for the motion. If a quarter of the total membership of the Assembly stand in favor of the motion, a resolution will be tabled.
- The person presenting the resolution and the deputy speaker will be able to speak for 15 minutes or more. Other signatories to the resolution may also be allowed to speak.
- Until the motion is disposed of, the Assembly session will not be adjourned for the next day.
- Voting on the resolution to remove the deputy speaker will be held by secret balloting, held in such manner as the chairperson may direct.
- The Assembly shall not be prorogued until the motion has been disposed of or, if leave is granted, the resolution has been voted upon.
- The deputy speaker, shall stand removed from his office on the resolution being passed by majority of the total membership of the Assembly.
- The Secretary shall cause a notification to be published in the Gazette.
An extraordinary parliamentary session took place today, where 80 items on the agenda were bulldozed and 21 bills passed