Constitutional package set to limit president’s powers, fix chief justice’s term

June 1st, 2008 - 8:40 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, June 1 (ANI): The proposed constitutional package reportedly includes amendments to limit the president’s powers, empower parliament and fix the tenure of the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) to maximum of five years, the Daily Times quotes sources, as saying.

Delivered to the Pakistan People’s Party’s coalition partners on Saturday by Federal Law Minister Farooq Naek, the draft package seeks the removal of the president’s authority to dissolve the parliament under Article 58(2b). The proposed package also aims to re-structure the National Security Council by making the prime minister instead of the president its head.

The premier will also be given powers to appoint governors, services chiefs, the attorney general and the auditor general. There is also a proposal to abolish the Islamabad High Court.

Ministers of Law and Justice, Education, Interior, Ports and Shipping, Defence, Communication, Finance and Foreign Affairs would be appointed by the Centre. The remaining portfolios would be handed over to the provinces, the sources added.

The proposed package will strengthen parliament. The ministers and bureaucracy would be made accountable to parliament’s standing committees.

The package may retain the judges who took oath under the November 3 PCO. However, it suggests that Article 6 may be invoked in future against any judge who takes oath under the PCO or any dictator abrogating the Constitution.

The package also proposes amendments in the local bodies system. The proposed amendments are aimed at restoring the old local government system, sources said.(ANI)

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