Pakistani parliament debate on Musharraf’s impeachment Monday

August 16th, 2008 - 8:12 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf
Islamabad, Aug 16 (Xinhua) Pakistan’s lower house of the parliament is set to discuss President Pervez Musharraf’s impeachment Monday, the official APP news agency reported Saturday. Monday’s parliament session would set into motion Musharraf’s impeachment process, Pakistan Peoples Party spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

He said: “A notice for impeachment would be served on President Musharraf during the session.” The sitting would then investigate the charge sheet against Musharraf, he added.

Impeachment of the president requires a two-third majority in the Senate as well as in the National Assembly under the country’s constitution.

It would be the first time in Pakistan’s 61-year history that a president would be impeached.

The ruling coalition would need the support of 295 parliamentarians - of the total 439 - in both houses of the parliament to remove Musharraf.

Constitutional experts said at least half of the National Assembly members need to sign a written document of the intention to impeach the president.

The speaker then has three days to send the notice to the president after which a joint sitting of the Senate and the National Assembly will be called.

According to Pakistan’s constitution, the joint sitting should be called “not earlier than seven days and not later than 14 days” after the president receives the notice.

Musharraf’s close aides have said that he has vowed to fight his impeachment through all legal and constitutional means.

According to media reports, Musharraf is unlikely to use his powers to dissolve the assemblies under article 58 (2b) of the constitution.

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