Islamabad, Mar 18: During the first National Assembly session on Monday, the signs of confrontation between the new Parliament and Presidency became visible when new members vowed to follow the Constitution.
The word "constitution" has been mentioned twice in the oath of the members of the National Assembly. On both occasions, the members of the PPP, PML-N and other coalition parties made an addition on their own by loudly saying that they would perform their functions in accordance with the Constitution and "preserve, protect and defend" it as it was on November 2, 2007.
The PPP and the PML-N, the two major winners of the Feb 18 elections, not only opposed the emergency but termed all the steps taken by the president during the emergency period as "illegal and unconstitutional".
The parliamentary secretary of the PPP Izhar Amrohvi told Dawn, "As many as 180 members of the PPP, PML-N and the ANP had signed a requisition notice to convene the National Assembly session to pre-empt any move from the Presidency to delay the session for the election of the prime minister."
He said, "Under the rules, one-fourth of the total members could submit a requisition notice and the speaker would be bound to convene the session within 15 days. In this way the government would not require from the president to summon the session. By adopting this strategy in future the ruling coalition can permanently deprive the president of his power to summon and prorogue the session."