ISLAMABAD: The parliamentary committee formed to finalise the names of members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will resume its deliberations tomorrow at 2pm.
The committee had met today to deliberate on the proposed names for vacant seats from Sindh and Balochistan as well as the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC). The meeting was chaired by Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari.
The panel comprises eight members from the National Assembly and four from the Senate. The government and opposition are equally represented in the committee, with six members from each side.
Under parliamentary rules, the panel has to make a decision with a two-thirds majority, which means that in order to approve any individual for the post, the nominee’s name should be supported by at least eight members.
For the vacant seat from Sindh and Balochistan, the opposition has recommended the names of Shah Muhammad Jatoi, Muhammad Rauf Atta and Rahila Durrani for Balochistan and the names of Nisar Durrani, Justice (retd) Abdul Rasul Memon and Aurangzeb Haq for Sindh. The government has proposed the names of Dr Faiz Kakar, Naveed Jan and Amanullah Baloch for Balochistan and the names of retired judges Sadiq Bhatti, Noorul Haq Qureshi, Abdul Jabbar Qureshi for Sindh.
Sources told The News that Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser had met on Monday to devise a formula to ‘save’ the ECP from becoming dysfunctional.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had directed National Assembly speaker and Senate chairman to ensure that the committee reaches a decision on the appointments by December 7.
The IHC had intervened in the matter after a petitioner had approached the court challenging the government’s unilateral decision to appoint members on the vacant seats from Balochistan and Sindh.
Under Section 3 of the Elections Act, 2017, it is a requirement that an ECP bench must have at least three members, with or without the chief election commissioner.
If the committee fails to agree on two names for the vacant seats the election commission will become dysfunctional as the incumbent Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Raza is retiring on December 6.