The federal government and opposition on Tuesday agreed to appoint members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by July 25 and decided to exchange proposed names for appointments on Thursday.
This decision was taken by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Opposition Leader in National Assembly Khursheed Shah in their third meeting held at Parliament House for consultation on the appointment of ECP members.
During the meeting, the two leaders agreed on finalising the names within the constitutional duration, as according to the constitution, the government and opposition are bound to appoint ECP members within 45 days after their retirement.
The two leaders decided to share proposed names of ECP members with each other during their next meeting (on Thursday or Friday) as Khursheed Shah reportedly sought time from the government, saying consultation with all opposition parties on names for appointments was underway and a decision was likely during their meeting on Wednesday.
Shah also inquired about the health of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and appreciated that he had resumed his responsibilities after his arrival from London.
It may be mentioned that after the ECP was rendered incomplete with the retirement of its four members on June 12, the electoral process, such as mayoral or deputy mayoral elections, by-polls in various constituencies and notification of newly-elected parliamentarians, came to a halt across the country.
Due to the non-appointment of new members, the ECP cannot hold by-elections in 10 constituencies and local government elections in 22 constituencies.