Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s fate now lies in the hands of one woman, Dr Fehmida Mirza, the Speaker of the National Assembly, said Law Minister Farooq Naek.
The media section of the National Assembly confirmed that it had received the detailed judgment on the conviction of the Prime Minister, reports The Dawn.
According to sources, the issue would reach Dr Mirza only after a parliamentarian or an outsider filed a reference, asking whether or not Prime Minister Gilani could remain a member of the National Assembly.
“After receiving such a reference, there is a deadline of 30 days, which would start once the apex court had given its verdict on the appeal,” said National Assembly’s Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi.
The speaker can then make one of three choices- One is to let the reference pass on to the Election Commission of Pakistan. Secondly, the speaker can herself send the case to the Election Commission, which then has to take a decision in 90 days. The third option allows the speaker to reject the reference arguing that in her opinion the prime minister does not merit disqualification.
“If the speaker declares that the Prime Minister is qualified to hold his office, his conviction will be automatically suspended,” an expert said.
Supreme Court Lawyer Salman Akram Raja, he said in case the speaker decided in favour of Gilani, her decision could be challenged in the apex court since there was no specific constitutional provision to deal with such an eventuality.
Gilani’s defence counsel, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, will file an appeal, allowing the issue to linger on, which suits the PPP government.