PPPP proclaims political stance, enumerates LFO irritants
LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party-Parliamentarians (PPPP) on Thursday adopted a harder and clearer posture on the Legal Framework Order (LFO) issue at its meeting in Dubai chaired by Benazir Bhutto, said the PPPP’s Dubai office.
The PPPP has clarified its stance with several points as under:
1. The party will support the waiver of the graduation clause.
2. It will favour women’s seats on the basis of votes obtained by a party instead of seats secured in the assemblies.
3. It will support the reserved seats for women.
4. It will support a joint electorate.
5. The party will support reserved seats for minorities.
6. It will seek an end to the politics of persecution started during the Zia regime in the form of seizing the hospitals of the People’s Foundation Trust and the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Trust.
7. It will oppose any amendments to the 1973 Constitution after 12 October, 1999.
8. The party will support the devolution plan, which, it said, had been stolen from the PPP’s election manifesto, but not being implemented as it should have been. The party will seek financial powers for local councils on the pattern of the United States.
9. It will support the anti-defection law as it existed in the Constitution before the dissolution of previous assemblies.
10. The party will oppose the practice of disqualifying people in absentia from holding public office as doing so is in violation of article 63(P) of the Constitution, which only exempts conviction for moral turpitude.
11. The party will support the restoration of the rules of business as they existed before 12 October, 1999.
12. The party will seek the establishment of an independent election commission in accordance with the Returning Officer Order, 1985. It will favour interim governments holding elections based on the Bangladesh model.
13. The chief election commissioner should be the most recently-retired chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Election Commission (EC) members should be the most recently-retired chief justices of the high courts or the most recently-retired presidents of the provincial bar associations. The number of the EC members should be increased. The tenure of the EC chief and its members should be three years after assuming office.
14. To prevent horse-trading and corruption, the ballot for the senators’ election should be open.
15. Quota for minorities should be maintained in the senate and a quota of women seats in the senate be introduced.
16. The sales tax is to be collected by the provinces as declared in the Constitution.
17. The PPPP will also seek parties’ representation in assemblies in proportion with the overall total number of votes secured by an individual party.
18. It will seek funding for political parties on the pattern of the Scandinavian countries.
The PPPP also spelt out ten main points of objection in the LFO as: the president in military uniform in violation of article 43 of the Constitution; the formation of the National Security Council (NSC); the restoration of article 58(2)b of the Constitution empowering president to dissolve assemblies; the State Bank of Pakistan Act, the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance, the Local Government Ordinances, the Election Commission Order, the Conduct of General Elections Order, the Political Parties Order and the Police Order; discretionary presidential powers including the powers to appoint governors, military chiefs, the chief election commissioner, judges, the National Accountability Bureau chief and the State Bank of Pakistan governor besides the discretionary powers of governors; the election of the president by ignoring the both houses of parliament which is in violation of the Constitution; the indefinite term of the president; the extension in judges service tenure by three years; article 270 (AA) of the LFO whereby amnesty is secured for Gen Musharraf’s ordinances, orders and notifications; and new rules and orders passed after the October 2002 elections.