Shehbaz writes letter to PM Imran over ECP appointments

The opposition leader tells the premier that to reach a consensus on members, a realistic approach is needed

News Desk June 11, 2019
The opposition leader tells the premier that to reach a consensus on members, a realistic approach is needed . PHOTO: FILE

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif sent revised names to Prime Minister Imran Khan for appointing the members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Express News reported on Tuesday.

Imran, Shehbaz mull names for ECP members

In a letter written to the premier, Shehbaz recommended names of senior lawyer Khalid Javed, Justice (retd) Abdul Rasul Memon and Justice (retd) Noorul Haq Qureshi from Sindh.

From Balochistan, Shehbaz recommended Salahuddin Mengal, Shah Muhammad Jatoi and Rauf Atta.

“To select members, mutual and detailed consultation is needed over every candidate. To reach a consensus, realistic, sincere and serious consultation should be done. Without realistic consultation, the constitutional responsibility will not be fulfilled,” read the letter.

Shehbaz continued in the letter, “You [PM Imran Khan] levelled false and baseless accusations on the previous nominations and gave an opinion against them. In the letter of your foreign minister, you disqualified the nominated candidate later.”

“Therefore, I have decided to refrain from giving an opinion that could hurt others. I have considered the names nominated by you in detail and now request you to seriously consider the modified names now,” Shehbaz concluded in the letter.

Consultations are underway between Prime Minister Imran and the opposition leader for months.

Under the Constitution, the ECP comprises a Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and four members — one from each province.

According to Article-215 (4) inserted in the Constitution through the 22nd Amendment a “vacancy in the office of the commissioner or a member shall be filled within 45 days.”

The ECP was incomplete after its members from Sindh and Balochistan retired on January 26.

Govt misses deadline to appoint ECP members

Meanwhile, under Articles-213 and 218, the prime minister in discussion with the opposition leader forwards three names for the appointment of a CEC or commission member to a parliamentary committee for confirmation of one name.

In case, a consensus cannot be reached between the premier and the opposition leader, the law allows the two to forward separate lists to the parliamentary committee for the hearing and finalisation of names.

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