Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani addresses a National Assembly session. – Photo by APP

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday said that he did not need to take a vote of confidence, DawnNews reported.

Whoever wants to initiate a no-confidence motion in the parliament, they are free to do so, he said.

Addressing a session of the National Assembly,  Gilani said everyone should respect the constitution and those who want to cut short the terms of the prime minister and the president should propose amendments to the constitution.

“Now we have to decide whether we should have democracy or dictatorship in this country. If we have committed any mistakes, it does not mean that democracy or parliament should be punished,” Gilani told parliamentarians.

He further said that the government was not against any state institution.

“We have not come here to seek martyrdom, nor are we seeking support on the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO)," the premier said.

"The opposition should tell us if the NRO was made by our government," the prime minister questioned.

He further said that "if a new stage is set up, it would neither welcome the current government, nor the existing opposition".

Regarding the judiciary, he said: "We went to prisons for the judges...faced treason cases for standing up for Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry."

Resolution tabled in favour of government, democracy

Also on Friday, chief of the Awami National Party (ANP), Asfandyar Wali Khan tabled a resolution in the NA in favour of the Parliament, government and democracy. The House will vote on the resolution on Monday, Jan 16.

Reading out the contents of the resolution, Wali said that the House believes in, and will ensure the supremacy of democracy and the Parliament.

The resolution also supports "the political leadership's efforts to safeguard democracy". It also adds that the institutions should act within their jurisdiction, while respect for the institutions is also essential for a stable democracy.

The NA session was adjourned till Monday, Jan 16.

MQM “in favour of democracy”

The ruling party’s coalition partner, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), also voiced support for democracy.

Speaking to media representatives outside the parliament, MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said his party’s decision would be "in favour of democracy".

Rizvi advised the government to avoid confrontations, saying that the country was passing through a critical phase, and that conflict between institutions was highly undesirable at this stage.

However, he stopped short of openly expressing support for the resolution, saying that a decision would be announced after a draft of the resolution was received.

 

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