Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Friday nominated Justice Tassaduq Hussain as the acting chief election commissioner.
Election Commission of Pakistan issued a notification stating that a formal nomination from the chief justice had been received.
The office of the CEC fell vacant after the previous head of the electoral body, Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, resigned a day after the presidential election on July 30. Since the constitutional post of a CEC cannot remain vacant a senior judge of the Supreme Court is usually appointed as an acting CEC.
Talking to The Express Tribune ECP officials stated that the commission had on Thursday written a letter asking the chief justice to nominate one of the senior judges for the commission’s top slot.
Responding to the letter Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, through his registrar, has formally nominated Justice Gillani as the acting CEC, they added.
The ECP then issued a notification which stated that “In pursuance of Article 217 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan has been pleased to nominate Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, Hon’ble Judge of the Supreme Court to act as Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan with immediate effect and till the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner”.
The process of appointment of new CEC is yet to kick off. Under the new procedure adopted since the 18th Amendment the prime minister and leader of opposition in the National Assembly have to jointly propose three names for the office of the CEC to a 12-member parliamentary committee, constituted by the speaker of the House.
Justice Hussain will hold two positions, that of the Chief Justice and of the Chief Election Commissioner, once Chief Justice Iftikhar leaves the country to attend the 2nd South Asian Chief Justices Roundtable on Environmental Justice to be held in Thimpu on August 30.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2013.