Parliament joint session meets to vote on crucial legislation

Nov 17, 2021: Prime Minister Imran Khan and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif and other political figures have arrived at Parliament House to attend a joint sitting in which important legislation, including the controversial Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) Act, is expected.

Government and joint Opposition flex their muscles in today’s joint session of Parliament convened as ruling party appears confident over passage of all its bills after getting support of its allies

The joint meeting was scheduled to take place on November 11, but the government canceled it due to opposition protests, with its allies expressing reservations.

However, after taking all the allies into confidence, President Arif Alvi convened the meeting this afternoon. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is also present along with his father Asif Ali Zardari, who is the co-chairman of the ruling PPP in Sindh. Before the meeting, Bilawal called on Shahbaz in his chamber to discuss a strategy to defeat the government, which had won a slim majority in the House.

The government looked confident before the session, with its chief spokesman Fawad Chaudhry promising another victory. The Information Minister in a tweet expressed hope that the meeting would legislate on the voting rights of overseas Pakistanis. “EVM laws and voting rights for overseas Pakistanis will be a milestone in empowering democracy in Pakistan,” he said.

The opposition, meanwhile, fears an alleged “arm twist” at the start of the session. In a tweet, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Sherry Rehman accused the government of using pressure tactics to secure its majority in the House.

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