The Eighth Amendment has a big change with Article 58 2(b), which in turn is considered to be the provision that introduced the presidential power to dissolve the National Assembly at his discretion where, in his opinion, appeal to the electorate was necessary. On such dissolution, elections were to be called within one hundred days.
Total Amendments in Constitution of Pakistan 1973
Till January 2015 twenty one amendments have been made in constitution of Pakistan 1973.
Explanation of Eighth Amendment
Following are the points are important for explanation of eighth amendment with reference to its effects on political or parliamentary system of Pakistan.
1. Dissolution of National Assembly
President could dissolve National Assembly when vote of no-confidence had been passed against Prime Minister, and no other member of National Assembly had confidence of majority of members of National Assembly in accordance with provisions of constitution.
President could dissolve National Assembly when a situation had arisen in which government of federation could not be carried on in accordance with provisions of constitution and an appeal to electorate had become necessary.
2. Semi Presidential System
Through the Eighth Amendment transformed parliamentary system of Pakistan into semi-presidential system. In fact, this amendment granted vast powers to President, and these powers made President more powerful than Parliament.
3. Effect on Political or Parliamentary System
Eighth Amendment produced negative effects on political or parliamentary system of Pakistan. First it changed parliamentary system into semi-presidential system, and then caused dissolution of five elected National Assembly with dismissal of five elected governments.
To conclude, it can be stated that amendments, which have been so far made in constitution of Pakistan, can be divided into two kinds: some of the were passed by Parliament and other amendments were inserted into constitution by military dictators. Eighth Amendment was that Amendment, which was initially introduced by military dictator and which Parliament later on had to pass, because it was mandatory for its won survival. In this way, acts of General Zia-ul-Haq’s regime were protected under this Amendment.