Pakistan constitutional amendments could take months to pass: party leaders

Pakistan constitutional amendments could take months to pass: party leaders

[JURIST] Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) [party websites] leaders said Tuesday that it will likely take months for parliament to pass a proposed constitutional amendment package [JURIST report] that would restore the judiciary deposed by President Musharraf and limit executive powers. Some top Pakistani lawmakers expressed skepticism that the measures would be approved at all. A spokesperson for the PML-N said that the two parties still do not agree on exactly how to restore the judges: the PPP maintains that it should be accomplished constitutionally, while the PML-N holds that it should occur through a parliamentary resolution and an order from the prime minister. From Pakistan, the News has more.

On Tuesday, a PMN-L member accused the PPP of stalling on the issue, saying that delays could lead to violence if progress is not made before the country's lawyers' movement [New York Times backgrounder] stages its protest [JURIST report], set for June 10. On Monday, a PML-N spokesman said that his party's acceptance of the package turned on the package's backing by the lawyers' movement. In comments Saturday, ousted Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] cautioned lawyers to continue fighting for a restored judiciary and not to succumb to efforts to divide them [Dawn report].