PILDAT welcomes govt-opp talks on caretaker setup | Pakistan Today

PILDAT welcomes govt-opp talks on caretaker setup

The Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) has welcomed the negotiations between the government and the opposition on caretaker governments in the centre and the provinces. The PILDAT had filed a constitutional petition before the Supreme Court, seeking interpretation of the scope of consultation between the president and the outgoing leader of the house and the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly to form caretaker governments for general elections.
“It is a positive development that the leader of the opposition has taken up this issue with the government, following the petition of the PILDAT so that ambiguity on ‘consultation’ in the Constitution could be defined,” said a PILDAT press statement.
The PILDAT has also welcomed the statement of Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan for consulting the parties outside the parliament consulted on the appointment of caretaker governments in the centre and the provinces before the next general elections. The PILDAT demanded this in its report on electoral reforms on January 31, 2012, and in the Citizens’ Forum held to discuss the report on February 7.
The PILDAT opined that the parties outside the Parliament should also be consulted on the appointment of chief election commissioner, adding the process for the appointment of a consensus CEC must begin immediately as tenure of the sitting CEC would end in March 2012.
Article 224 (1A) of the Constitution of Pakistan, after 18th Amendment to the Constitution, provides for the appointment of caretaker prime minister and caretaker chief ministers by the president of Pakistan and the governors concerned, respectively, in consultation with the prime minister/chief ministers and the leaders of opposition in the outgoing assemblies.
However, there is no definition of the word consultation in the Constitution. Serious disputes had arisen in connection with the interpretation of the word consultation with regard to the appointment of NAB chairman between the president and the leader of the opposition.
Since the neutrality of the caretaker governments is essential for holding a free and fair election in Pakistan, the PILDAT apprehended that a constitutional deadlock could arise if the president and the leader of the opposition failed to agree on a consensus caretaker government. It is in this backdrop that the PILDAT approached the apex court to seek interpretation of the word consultation so that all the parties were clear about their role in the consultative process.



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