9 Apr 2010

Limits on presidential powers approved in Pakistan

7:13 am on 9 April 2010

The parliament of Pakistan has voted unanimously in favour of limits on the power of the president.

The measures transfer certain powers from the office of the president to the prime minister and take away his power to dismiss elected governments.

The BBC reports the legislation will strengthen parliamentary democracy, weakened by periods of military rule.

The bill was approved unanimously by Pakistan's National Assembly. It now needs approval from the upper house.

Correspondents say the bill is likely to be approved by the Senate - as all major political parties have signed the draft. Once it is approved, it will pass into law.

It is the first major constitutional amendment to empower parliament since 1973.