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Fakharuddin resigns; asks new parliament to choose new CEC

01 August, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Living up to his tradition of submitting resignations, Fakharuddin G Ebrahim on Wednesday again quit the prestigious office of the chief election commissioner (CEC).

"The newly elected members of parliament should have the opportunity to forge new consensus and choose a new chief election commissioner," he stated in his resignation sent to the president. Earlier, he had resigned as Sindh governor, attorney general of Pakistan and federal law minister. "I was appointed through a consultative process by the last parliament. My constitutional term ends in 2017. However, in my humble opinion, the newly elected members of parliament should have the opportunity to forge new consensus and choose a new chief election commissioner."

"This will also allow the next chief election commissioner sufficient time and opportunity to prepare and lead the election commission for the general elections of 2018," he added. Fakharuddin said he resigned "in accordance with Article 215(3) of the constitution." He had taken oath of the office of chief election commissioner on July 23, 2012, approximately nine months prior to the general elections. He was supposed to serve till 2017, as it is a tenure post, but he left the office after 375 days.

"I did not seek this high office, but in fact accepted the same with reluctance, upon persuasion by senior members of parliament that I was the only person on whom the members of the opposition and the government could both agree upon," Fakharuddin said, in his prologue to the resignation. The CEC said he had done his best to maintain democratic values, the dictates of his conscience and the commands of the constitution. "I am proud that the election commission has acted without fear or favour and strived to create as level playing field as possible."

He also mentioned different threats, adding that he stood firm for fulfilling constitutional obligations. "Despite personal threats and even brazen gun attack on my family – I quietly stood firm against those forces who first tried to derail and then delay the 2013 elections." Fakharuddin expressed pride on smooth transition of power and noted the transition from one elected civilian government to another had been completed for the first time in the 66-year history of the country.

"It is belated and has come with much sacrifice. Too many have fallen at the hands of terrorists. Political workers, journalists, teachers, lawyers, members of police and armed forces, government servants and men and women have all paid a high price," he added.

End.

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