No provision of deputy PM in constitution: experts


As there is no description in the constitution for the post of a deputy prime minister, the prime minister, without delegating any of his powers, can designate any senior member of the cabinet as the deputy prime minister through an executive order, but the advice of the deputy PM would not be binding, legal experts told Pakistan Today. “There is no description for the post of deputy PM in the constitution, but a member in the cabinet holding the high government official post can be designated as one and would have to report to the PM,” senior lawyer Munir Malik said on Saturday. He said the proposed deputy PM’s advice would not be binding in any manner, as he would be just a member of the cabinet.
Senior lawyer Habibul Wahab Alkhairi said there was no provision in the constitution that provided for the deputy PM’s office. “It would be a joke with the nation,” he said. He believed that the appointment of the deputy prime minister would be challenged in court. A senior official of the National Assembly Secretariat said on condition of anonymity that the deputy PM’s slot would not come under the definition of cabinet and there was no provision of such an office in the constitution.
Justice (r) Tariq Mahmood declined to comment on the issue, saying until and unless the government came up with a strategy, he could not judge its merit. However, Abdul Mujeeb Pirzada said the creation of the office of the deputy PM was not a constitutional, but political arrangement. “There is no description in the constitution for the post of a senior minister as well, but successive governments have been appointing them nonetheless,” he said.