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Musharraf may be impeached if MPs want: Pak Speaker
April 03, 2008 15:17 IST
Pakistan National Assembly's newly-elected first woman Speaker Fehmida Mirza has said that President Pervez Musharraf may be impeached by a two-thirds majority if Members of Parliament favour such a move.
"If Parliamentarians want to impeach Musharraf, they may do so with a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly and the Senate," she said. "I'll see the matter is in accordance with the Constitution because I am a custodian of the National Assembly and not a party."
"Parliamentarians should be allowed to take decisions on policy matters. They should be allowed to legislate as they represent their constituencies. They should discuss issues and pursue legislation," She told the Daily Times.
Asked if the Parliament really could be supreme and sovereign while the President had the powers to dismiss an elected government and dissolve the assembly under Article 58 (2b) of the Constitution, Mirza said this was still an issue.
"Article 58 (2b) is there and it has derailed democracy again and again," she said. "It is an issue. Then again, we are passing through a transition and I feel that this is the first step. All parliamentarians have the mandate of the people."
Asked how the Parliament could be strengthened, Mirza said all national issues should be discussed in the National Assembly and not in any other forum. "Through this procedure, parliamentarians will make people indirectly powerful and thus the parliament will be powerful."
The continuity of the democratic process is needed to strengthen the position of Parliament, Mirza said. "We had eight years of dictatorship and they should have let The Parliament work. I hope democracy will flourish in Pakistan."
Mirza said she treated all members of the National Assembly as parliamentarians regardless of their party affiliations.
"I hope each one of them rises above party affiliations. They should work for the people. We should all work for the supremacy and sovereignty of Parliament. People have a lot of expectations from this Parliament."