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Govt postpones joint session of parliament for two days

ISLAMABAD: The joint session of Parliament summoned for Thursday has been postponed for two days on the recommendation of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

President Arif Alvi was scheduled to address the joint session of parliament to mark the onset on the new parliamentary year. The sessions has been postponed due to the demise of former first lady Kulsoom Nawaz who passed away in London.

The president had also summoned session of the Senate on Friday at 5:00 PM, and also a session of the National Assembly session on Friday at 4:00 PM.

Under Article 56(3) of the Constitution, the president is required to address a joint sitting of parliament at the beginning of the parliamentary year.

It states: “At the commencement of the first session after each general election to the National Assembly and at the commencement of the first session of each year the President shall address both Houses assembled together.”

This was supposed to be the maiden address of President Alvi to the parliament after his election as 13th president of the country on Sept 4. He is expected to face a noisy opposition protest, as in the past opposition members also lodged a strong noisy protests during presidential addresses.

The first sitting of the National Assembly after the elections was held on August 13, which will be considered the first day of the parliamentary year of the new assembly every year.

President Alvi will become the 9th president to address the joint parliamentary session. Previously, eight presidents have addressed the parliament for a total of 27 times.

Asif Ali Zardari is the only president who had an opportunity to address the parliament for the maximum number of times which counts to six. On March 23, 1985, Gen. Zia-ul-Haq became the first president to address a joint session of parliament.

President Alvi took oath as the head of state on September 9. He was administered the oath by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar at a ceremony held at President House.

The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) candidate Dr Arif Alvi won the presidential election held on September 4 with 352 votes, followed by PML-N backed candidate Maulana Fazlur Rehman who managed to secure 184, while Aitzaz Ahsan of the PPP bagged 124 votes.

After being elected as president of the country, Mr Alvi stepped down from his seat in the National Assembly.

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