ISLAMABAD, December 6, 2018: In a press conference in response to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s suggestion of running legislative business through presidential ordinances, PPP Parliamentary Leader in Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman said, “This is a disturbing statement that must be criticised not only by the opposition but by the public as well. They have not passed a single bill in 106 days and are now touting rule by ordinance which is considered blatantly undemocratic the world over. We vehemently oppose ruling by ordinance and will not allow this”.
The former Senate Opposition Leader said, “It seems that the government, from top to bottom, is ignorant of the Constitution, does not have a clear understanding of parliamentary procedures and the basics of democratic governance. Ordinances are only promulgated in extreme emergency situations if parliament is not in session. It is, by no means, an instrument devoid of the parliament. Post 18th amendment, ordinances have a life of 120 days. Is the government not aware of Rule 89 by which parliament can disapprove of an ordinance and vote it out well before 120 days are over? The issues pointed out cannot be solved by myopic interventions made to last for four months”.
“Moves to further paralyse a parliament which is already in a deadlock are extremely alarming. The government has failed to constitute over 30 committees in the National Assembly as a result of the ruling party’s inflexibility and refusal to work with opposition parties which goes against the democratic ideals that form the bedrock of any government. The Speaker of the National Assembly was given until September 18 to form the committees but failed to do so. Due to PTI’s own political objectives, to this day, a Chairman for the Public Accounts Committee has not been appointed. The government is only interested in media and optics management,” continued Rehman.
Reiterating the importance of the parliament, the Senator said, “The parliament, one of the most important state institutions, has consistently been ridiculed, sidelined and disrespected in an unprecedented manner. If the government wants to enact durable, effective and progressive legislation, it needs the parliament and the support of the opposition. Anything less than that is unacceptable. It is baffling how we have to spell this out for them.”
“Politicking has significantly hurdled PTI’s capability to govern. It has undermined its position several times over its own hubris. Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and the Pakistan Peoples Party have a long history of struggle for democracy and restoration of law and order. These types of emotive statements do not come from a government that respects the democracy that many before us have worked so hard and given up their lives for. They must move past rhetoric to appease their vote bank and realize that they are now leading Pakistan and that includes those who did not vote for them,” concluded the Vice-President PPPP.