ISLAMABAD: Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to initiate the process for appointment of permanent chief election commissioner (CEC) immediately.
Khursheed Shah wrote in a letter to the prime minister that all the political parties were demanding appointment on this key constitutional post hence the process should be started forthwith. Shah said that Justice (r) Fakhruddin G Ibrahim resigned from the office of the chief election commissioner on July 31 last year. The resignation of Fakhurddin G Ibrahim came after political parties showed strong reservations over the way general election was conducted on May 11, 2013. Justice Nasir-ul-Malik is acting as CEC of Pakistan now. The delay in the appointment of CEC is being criticised by most of the political parties both inside and outside the parliament, Shah pointed out in the letter.
He further said that as opposition leader, he is often approached by political parties and media regarding the appointment of a regular CEC. “Non-appointment and adhocism aren’t good impressions,” Shah wrote and added that appointment of a regular CEC will be appreciated by parliamentarians and political parties alike. Shah hoped that the prime minister will initiate the process of the appointment on immediate basis keeping in view the demands of the political parties.
In November 2013 and again in February 2014, the prime minister began the process for appointment of CEC with a telephone call to Khursheed Shah, however the process remained inconclusive.
Under Article 213 of the constitution, prime minister, in consultation with the opposition leader, will forward three names for appointment of the CEC to a parliamentary committee for approval. The committee, to be constituted by the National Assembly speaker, will comprise 50 per cent members from the treasury benches and 50 per cent from the opposition, to be nominated by the respective parliamentary leaders.
In case there is no consensus between the two, each will forward separate lists to the committee for consideration which may confirm any of the names. The total strength of parliamentary committee will be 12 members, out of which one-third will be from the Senate.
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