Shehbaz rejects PM’s ECP nominations


ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly (NA) Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday rejected Prime Minister Imran Khan’s nomination of three people each for the two vacant seats of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), saying that it was in violation of the Constitution as it requires the leaders of the government and opposition to directly hold consultations over the matter.

The Prime Minister’s Office had sent a letter to the office of the opposition leader, recommending three people for the vacant posts from Balochistan and Sindh. The deadline for the nomination was already missed earlier in March. Shehbaz’s office replied that continuing vacancies because of delay in the process is in violation of Article 215(4) of the Constitution.

The PM Office’s letter stated that the government had withdrawn its previous nominations and had nominated new posts for the suggested posts. PM suggested the names of Amanullah Baloch, former district and sessions judge, Quetta; Munir Kakar, a lawyer; and Mir Naveed Jan Baloch, a businessman and former caretaker minister in the provincial government, for their nomination as a member of the ECP from Balochistan.

He had proposed the names of Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui, a lawyer; retired Justice Farrukh Zia Sheikh, a former judge of the Sindh High Court; and Iqbal Mehmood, retired inspector general of Sindh, for their nomination as a member of the ECP from Sindh.

Shehbaz’s Thursday response stated that the candidates nominated by the PM Office were different from those who had been nominated in a letter sent to him by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi who had been nominated by the premier for the consultation process.