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Four new member apponied for ECP

26 July, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain ,on the advice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, appointed four new members to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday. The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has issued a notification in this regard.

A parliamentary committee and the ECP had earlier recommended the names of three retired judges of high courts and a retired bureaucrat as new members of election commission through the pick and choose mthod. The ruling and the opposition parties had finalised the names of the new ECP members with consensus and the parliamentary committee put a stamp of approval on these names.

The parliamentary committee met at the Parliament House on Monday with Federal Information Minister Pervez Rashid in the chair. All 12 members of the committee from various political parties attended the meeting. National Assembly Special Secretary Qamr Sohail Lodhi presented a letter from the prime minister and the leader of the opposition to the committee chairman. The letter contained the names of 24 nominees for the vacant posts of members at the ECP. Rashid handed over one envelop to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) representative Dr Shirin Mazari and the other to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) represenative Nawab Yousaf Talpur and asked them to open the envelops.

Sources said the committee picked four people on top of the list because the government and opposition leader Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah had agreed on these names. However, the PTI representative opposed the names of ECP members from Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Punjab. On this, the committee chairman called for voting on the ECP members and most of the committee members voted in favour of the members agreed upon by the prime minister and the opposition leader. PTI reprsentative Mazari abstained from voting and boycotted the meeting. She told the media outside the Parliamen House that the parliamentary committee did not consider the names proposed by her party. She said the PTI gave the name of Tariq Khosa for ECP Punjab and Fasih-ul-Mulk for ECP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but the committee rejected both these names.

After the meeting, the information minister, who is also chairman of the committee, told the media that former bureaucrat Abdul Ghaffar Soomro’s name had been approved as member of the ECP from Sindh, Justice (Retd) Shakeel Ahmad Baloch as member of the ECP from Balochistan, Justice (Retd) Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi as member of the ECP from Punjab and Justice (Retd) Irshaq Qaiser as member of the ECP from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“We made the decision with a majority. ANP member Daud Achakzai neither supported nor opposed anyone and said that he was not consulted on this issue. The PTI called into question the nomination of ECP members from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and presented its names, but the committee dismissed those names,” the information minister said earlier. He said the approved names had been sent to the prime minister, who would send them to the president and the president would finally appoint members to the ECP. “I am hope full that a notification about the appointment of ECP members will be issued any time,” the information minister said.

Rashid told the media that continuity of ECP members would be ensured like Senate members and two members of the commission would retire on completion of their two-and-a-half years term and the remaining two would complete their five-year term. He said it would be decided through balloting which two members of the ECP would retire after two-and-a-half years. He rejected PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s critisism of new ECP members and said that he never accepted any decision. If Khan had any reservation about the ECP members, he said, he should have taken up this issue with the leader of the opposition.

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