PESHAWAR, 3 October: The National Assembly passed the Electoral Reforms Bill on Monday after which former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has again become president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Media reports said the PML-N passed the bill amid furore by the opposition members. The major bone of contention was clause 203 which seeks to help a disqualified person to become head of a political party.
Enraged opposition members protested the passing of the bill and tore its copies. Opposition members also chanted slogans against Nawaz Sharif. An amendment to the bill presented by the Jamaat-e-Islami was also rejected by the assembly.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in the House that clause 203 was against the spirit of the Constitution. He said his party will move the court over the issue.
Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid said democracy was being compromised for just a single person.
The bill was earlier passed from the Senate, where Aitzaz Ahsan proposed amendment in clause 203. The bill was sent back to the National Assembly after voting. After passage of the bill, the PML-N in its general body meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday elected Nawaz Sharif as its new president.
The Supreme Court in its verdict in the Panama Papers case on 28 July had disqualified Nawaz Sharif after which he also became ineligible for heading his political party.
Meanwhile, the PTI chairman Imran Khan denounced the passage of the bill as a black day for Pakistan’s democracy.