President divests himself of powers of Chairman NCA

ISLAMABAD, Nov 27 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari Friday night divested himself of the powers of Chairman National Command Authority and transferred the powers of Chairman to the elected Prime Minister. The shedding of powers of Chairman National Command Authority was effected through re-promulgation of National Command Authority Ordinance, 2009 and amending it also, Spokesperson to the President former Senator Farhatullah Babar said in a statement today.

He said that the National Command Authority Ordinance, 2009 is among the Ordinances that were promulgated before November 03, 2007 and which had to be placed before the Parliament within 120 days with effect from 31.7.2009 in accordance with the Supreme Court Judgment of that date.

He said that President on Friday night also re-promulgated 27 other Ordinances which were promulgated before November 3, 2007 and which had to be placed before the Parliament within 120 days w.e.f 31.7.2009.

The other Ordinances re-promulgated tonight included among others the Competition Ordinance, 2009, The Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority Ordinance 2009, Federal Public Service Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 2009, Trade Originations Ordinance, 2009 and the Defence Housing Authority Islamabad Ordinance, 2009, he said. 

The Ordinances were re-promulgated on the advice of the Prime Minister as the bills could not got passed from both the Houses within the deadline i.e. November 28, 2009 set by the Supreme Court, he said. 

He said that according to the re-promulgated Ordinance the Prime Minister will be the Chairman of the National Command Authority instead of the President as before.

Other members of the Authority include Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Defence, Minister for Finance, Minister for Interior, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff, he said. 

Transferring of Chairmanship of National Command Authority to the Prime Minister is a giant leap forward to empower the elected Parliament and the Prime Minister, he said.

He said in the original Ordinance, the then President had made himself the Chairman of NCA

Farhatullah Babar said that the President had already urged the Parliament twice in his address to the Joint Session to rid the Constitution of all anti democracy clauses with a view to making it truly federal and parliamentary in character.

After his address to the Parliament the President also addressed a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to speed up the process of Constitutional Reforms through the Parliament in accordance with the commitment made by him and the party.

A Parliamentary Committee has already been set up under the Chairmanship of PPP Senator Mian Raza Rabbani which is undertaking the task of democratizing the constitution in consultation with all political parties, he said. 

Farhatullah Babar also recalled that the President in his public address to the party workers in Karachi had reiterated commitment to restore the 1973 Constitution and hoped that the task will be completed soon. 

He said that after the amendment in National Command Authority Ordinance all powers and functions shall rest with the National Command Authority on whose behalf the Prime Minister will exercise these powers and functions. 

Farhatullah Babar said that President is also keenly awaiting for reforms in the Constitution through the Constitution Committee and the Parliament to make it truly democratic and vesting powers in the Parliament.

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