Eighth Amendment in Constitution 1973

Eighth Amendment

November 11, 1985
It amended articles 48, 51, 56, 58, 59, 60, 75, 90, 91, 101, 105, 106, 112, 116, 130 and 144, omitted articles 152- A and added 6th schedule. However, the most important amendment was that of article 58.

The President may also dissolve the National Assembly in his discretion, where, in his opinion:
(a) a vote of no-confidence having been passed against the Prime Minister, no other member of the National Assembly is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the National Assembly in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, as ascertained in a session of the National Assembly summoned for the purpose; or

(b) a situation has arisen in which the Government of the Federation cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and an appeal to the electorate is necessary.”

Article 58 2(b), which granted the discretionary power to dissolve the National Assembly, was invoked three times in the 1990s:-
- by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan against Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on August 6, 1990,

- by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1993 and

- by President Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari against Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in November 1996.

In the second instance, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was reinstated by the Supreme Court, but the resulting stalemate ended with the resignations of both Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The use of Article 58 2(b) was almost exclusively justified by the President as necessary, for the removal of corrupt governments that, it was asserted, had lost the confidence of the people. Elections were held each time that caused the ruling party to lose its majority or plurality in the National Assembly.


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