ISLAMABAD - Failing to get a couple of constitutional amendment bills passed from the Senate due to shortage of required numerical strength, the PPP-led ruling coalition at the centre has started fresh efforts to seek the Upper House’s nod on the said bills during the first week of December, TheNation learnt on Monday.

It is likely that fresh session of the Senate would be summoned prior to its schedule to get passed the 22nd and 23rd constitutional amendment bills. The reason behind the move is to table both the bills in the next session of the National Assembly scheduled to be held in the first week of December to get its nod too, a parliamentary source informed.

When the fresh session of the Senate would start, another constitutional amendment bill - 24th Constitutional Amendment - regarding bar of dual nationality of judges would be ready to be tabled before the House.

Presidential spokesman, Senator Farhatullah Babar told TheNation that no date had been fixed so far for the next session of the Senate. However, he made it clear that both these bills would again be put to vote to get passed from the Senate. He stressed that this should be kept in mind that these bills were not withdrawn but only deferred. He also informed that a fresh session of the House would be summoned some time earlier than its scheduled time period. He further said so far it was not clear that whether 24th Constitutional Amendment Bill would be tabled before the House or not. “I will get back to you after the verifying the exact position about this bill,” he added.

Previously, the government during the last session of the Senate, that ended on November 22, could not put to vote both of these constitutional amendment bills in the Senate because it was short of just one member to attain the required two third majority of votes in the House necessary to get passed a constitutional amendment. The government needs 70 votes to attain a two-third majority in a House of 104 members. A number of PPP senators were not present in the House when both these bills were present on the agenda on the last day of the session and resultantly Law Minister Farooq H Naek had to request the chair for deferment of the bills.  A PPP senator Ms Mudassir Sehar Kamran was admitted to hospital in critical conditions after he took sleeping pills in excessive quantity. Later, he told media persons that she got upset when Chief Whip of PPP, Islamuddin Sheik snubbed him for coming late in the House due to which the two constitutional amendment bills could not be got passed from the House.

Under the 22nd Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2012, the dual nationals would be eligible to contest general elections, however, they would have to renounce the citizenship of the other state before taking oath as lawmaker. This amendment, if passed, would also make the recent decision of the Supreme Court invalid that disqualified a dozen of lawmakers for holding dual nationality. The proposed 23rd Constitutional (Amendment) Bill would put a bar on the senior bureaucrats from grade 20 to above for having dual nationality and 24th (Amendment) Bill would put a bar on the judges for having dual nationality.

According to parliamentary leader of Awami National party (ANP) in the Senate, Haji Adeel, the scheduled session of the Senate would be held in the second week of December. “I am not aware of any development regarding the early summoning of the session,” he told this scribe.

Any constitutional amendment requires two-third majority of votes in its favour from both the houses of the Parliament, Senate and National Assembly. The PPP-led ruling coalition has the two-third majority in the Senate but it would face difficulties to attain two-third majority votes in the National Assembly to get passed, 22nd, 23rd and 24th constitutional amendment bills.