In compliance with the Supreme Court’s order, Pakistan Muslim league-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party have started consultation process regarding the appointment of Chief Election commissioner (CEC), as the name of Justice (retd) Rana Bhagwandas is being considered for the slot.
Sources told The Express Tribune that though no formal meeting has been held between prime minister and leader of opposition in National Assembly regarding the CEC’s appointment, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has contacted Syed Khurshid Shah in this regard.
They further revealed that both leaders have discussed the name of Bhagwandas as new CEC. A senior PPP leader said that they have expressed full trust over the appointment of Bhagwandas.
Under Article 213, the 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 Speaker NA will comprise 50 per cent members from the treasury benches and 50 per cent from the opposition parties — to be nominated by the respective parliamentary leaders, based on their strength in Parliament.
However, in case there is no consensus between the two, each will forward separate lists to the committee for consideration which may confirm any one’s name. The total strength of Parliamentary Committee will be 12 members, out of which one-third will be from the Senate.
After the resignation of Fakhruddin G Ebrahim in July last year, the office of CEC is lying vacant. Since then, the senior most judge of Supreme Court has been working as the acting CEC — as required under the Constitution.
Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani held this position for quite some time, and after his elevation as the chief justice, Justice Nasirul Mulk is holding the slot.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2014.