PM floats new names for CEC post | Pakistan Today

PM floats new names for CEC post

— Names of former secretaries Jamil Ahmed, Fazal Abbas Mekan and Sikandar Sultan Raja proposed for coveted post

–Sources claim govt and Opp are willing to endorse Sikandar Raja’s name 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has nominated a new three-member panel for appointment as chief election commissioner (CEC) of Pakistan to Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif in a bid to break the deadlock over the issue.

In a letter written on January 15, the prime minister drew the attention of the opposition leader to his previous letter written on December 4, for consultation on appointment of the CEC as required under clause (2-A) of Article 213 of the constitution.

“In order to have meaningful and result-oriented consultations and as another attempt to resolve this longstanding issue, I hereby propose the revised panel, comprising of following, for the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan,” read the letter.

The nominees included former federal secretaries Jamil Ahmed, Fazal Abbas Mekan and Sikandar Sultan Raja.

A source in the PML-N told Pakistan Today that Sikandar Sultan Raja could be the new choice of the government and the opposition. The source said that Shehbaz Sharif would soon be taking the leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and other opposition parties into confidence over Raja’s nomination.

A source in the federal government said that Islamabad Chief Commissioner Amir Ahmed Ali, who is a son of Saeed Mehdi and brother in law of Sikandar Sultan Raja, has played a key role in the nomination of Raja for the CEC slot.

Meanwhile, Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs on Friday discussed at length the deadlock over nomination of new CEC owing to difference of opinion in this regard.

Chaired by Senator Pervaiz Rashid, the meeting was also attended by Senator Sikandar Mandhro, Senator Brigadier (r) John Kenneth Williams, Senator Walid Iqbal, Senator Hilalur Rehman and senior officers from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and the Election Commissioner of Pakistan (ECP) along with all concerned.

The meeting also discussed the display of voters’ lists and procedures for correction in voters’ lists; promulgation of the ordinance; violations and impact.

The committee was of the view that parliament cannot be overlooked in this matter and the best way to address this issue is through a mechanism set by parliament.

The committee showed grave concern regarding women being disenfranchised from their right to vote in parts of the country. The members deplored the fact that almost 13 million women voters have not been registered.

The committee recommended that the ECP in collaboration with NADRA should revise its lists. It was stressed that the ECP and NADRA must reach out to women, especially in rural areas to bridge this gap keeping in view the record available with NADRA regarding family registration certificate.

While discussing the case study on promulgation of ordinance by the president of Pakistan in terms of Article 89, the committee was of the view that narrowing the ambit of Ordinance Promulgation through the constitutional amendments must be resorted to.

It was asserted that as per the ruling of the Senate chief, it must be mandatory for all ordinances to be laid in parliament on the first day of Senate session.

Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at [email protected]

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