Sharif, Shah want Jilani as new CEC whether Khan likes it or not

  • SC orders AGP to give assurance to court today that new CEC will be appointed before Dec 5


As ‎Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and National Assembly Opposition Leader Syed Khurshid Shah Monday put their heads together over the much delayed appointment of new chief election commissioner (CEC), they decided on convincing former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice (r) Tasadduq Hussain Jilani to reconsider accepting the offer which he had earlier rejected after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan publicly opposed his appointment.

“During the meeting held at the PM’s House on Monday, PM Sharif asked Shah to make efforts and convince Justice Jilani to turn tables on ‎Imran Khan. If Shah is successful in convincing Justice Jilani through some interlocutors, the government would inform the Supreme Court about the appointment of Justice Jilani as next CEC,” ‎a reliable source ‎told Pakistan Today.

The source said that during the meeting, Shah informed the premier that he had completed consultation with all the opposition parties and majority of those, including MQM and JI, had agreed on the appointment of Justice Jilani with an exception of PTI.

Asked if the government would appoint Justice Jilani despite PTI chief’s opposition, the source said that there was no compulsion on the government to consult the PTI chairman. Under ‎the constitutional provisions, the prime minister would consult the opposition leader to appoint the CEC.

Asked whether any new names came under discussion for the CEC slot, the source said that both the prime minister and opposition leader have evolved consensus over just one name; Justice Jilani. “So there was no need to discuss any new name,” the source added.

However, he maintained that the announcement was not made as the government and opposition leader would have to first convince Justice Jilani to accept the appointment.


Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Monday directed Attorney General Salman Butt to provide assurance to the apex court by Dec 2 (today) that the appointment of the new CEC would be made before the court’s Dec 5 deadline expires.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, heard the case pertaining to the appointment of the new CEC.

Butt told the court that Prime Minister Sharif and Syed Khursheed Shah would finalise the name of a new CEC during their meeting on Monday.

Earlier, the bench had directed Butt to provide a formal assurance to the court that the government and the opposition would succeed in finalising a name for the office of CEC in their meeting.

The court subsequently adjourned the hearing till Dec 2.

This is the fourth deadline given to the government by the SC. Earlier, the court had set Oct 28, Nov 13 and Nov 24 as deadlines for the appointment of CEC.

After the expiry of the third deadline on Nov 24, the court had set Dec 1 for the appointment of the CEC and said it would withdraw on Dec 5 its judge Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali who is currently officiating as the CEC.


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