April 9, 2010

           The parliament of Pakistan has voted unanimously in favour of measures which limit key presidential powers.

The measures transfer certain powers from the office of the president to the prime minister and take away his power to dismiss elected governments. Supporters say the legislation will strengthen parliamentary democracy, weakened by periods of military rule.
The bill was approved unanimously by Pakistan's National Assembly. It now needs approval from the upper house. The constitution as it stands confers vast powers on the president, including the power to appoint military chiefs. That will end, as will the president's ability to dismiss all or any of the central or provincial governments in Pakistan. Correspondents say the bill is likely to be approved by the upper house - or Senate - as all the major political parties have signed the draft. Once it is approved, it will pass into law. "The impossible has been made possible by the house today," Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told lawmakers in a speech.

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