ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday gave the federal government 10 more days to finalise the appointments of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) officials.
During the hearing, MNA Mohsin Shah Nawaz Ranjha said the appointment of two members has been agreed upon and the name of the chief election commissioner has been withdrawn, adding that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government and leaders of the opposition will provide new names.
In response, PML-N lawyer Jahangir Jadoon said: “We are trying, [to sort things] the same way we agreed on the extension of the army chief.”
Chief Justice Athar Minallah observed that it was everyone’s responsibility to respect the Parliament and stated that the people of Pakistan have expectations from their representatives.
“If the Parliament is strong, Pakistan will be strong,” he said.
The hearing was adjourned until January 27.
The ECP has been without a CEC since Sardar Mohammad Raza’s retirement in early December, although the Constitution mandates that when ECP positions fall vacant, they must be filled within 45 days.
On August 22, President Arif Alvi had appointed Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui as ECP member for Sindh and Munir Ahmed Kakar for Balochistan against the positions vacated by Abdul Ghaffar Soomro and Justice (r) Shakeel Baloch, from the two provinces.
But the CEC refused to administer the oath of office to both of them while terming their appointment unconstitutional.
In a written statement, the ECP said the president had made the appointments “in violation of clauses 2A and 2B of Article 213 of the Constitution”.
On November 4, the IHC suspended the appointments and referred the matter to parliament.