The amendments that the Government proposes to move to the 20th A Bill at its Committee Stage will include increasing to two and half years from the date of a general election, when the President can dissolve Parliament.
In the draft 20 A Bill, the President could dissolve Parliament after a year.
The amendments were made available to the Supreme Court yesterday by the Attorney General where 39 petitions challenging the constitutionality of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution Bill are under consideration.
Another amendment seeks to increase the number of members of the Election Commission from three to five and to make one of its members a retired officer of the Department of Elections or Election Commission, who has held office as a Deputy Commoner of Elections or above.
The clause dealing with the appointment of the Auditor-General is to be amended so as to make the appointee a qualified Auditor and also to bring the Office of the Secretary to the President and the Office of the Secretary to the Prime Minister under the oversight of the AG. These two were excluded from the 20 A draft Bill.
A new section will be added to Clause 57 to make “ All applications instituted under Article 126 against the Attorney General in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by the President in his official capacity and ending on the day immediately preceding the date of commencement of their Act shall be continued and disposed of accordingly.”
The Article on the Powers and functions of the President will also be amended to include the words ,” To ensure the creation of proper conditions for the conduct of free and fair elections , at the request of the election Commission.”