ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday notified Sikandar Sultan Raja as the Chief Election Commission (CEC) for a five-year term.
A notification issued by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs said President Arif Alvi green-lighted the appointment under Article 213 and 215 read with Article 48 of the Constitution.
In another notification, the president also confirmed the appointment of Nasir Durrani and Shah Mohammad Jatoi as members of the Election Commission of Pakistan from Sindh and Balochistan, respectively.
The appointments come in light of the November 2, 2019, order issued by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
On August 22, President Arif Alvi appointed Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui as ECP member for Sindh and Munir Ahmed Kakar for Balochistan against the positions vacated by Soomro and Baloch, from the two provinces.
However, both of them were denied the oath. In November, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended the notification of their appointment on a petition from PML-N MNAs Murtaza Javed Abbasi and Dr Nisar Cheema.
On January 15, the Islamabad High Court had granted 10 more days to the government to finalise the ECP appointments.’
The Constitution mandates that when the ECP positions fall vacant, they must be filled within 45 days by the government in consultation with the opposition, but the talks between the two sides remained deadlocked as they rejected each other’s nominations.
Raja was nominated for the CEC post by Prime Minister Imran Khan, who withdrew his previous three names to break the impasse in the committee. Three more names on the table were from Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif.
Imran floated the names of retired bureaucrats, Jameel Ahmed, Fazal Abbas Maken and Sikandar Sultan Raja, in an effort to reach elusive consensus with the opposition. The opposition had refused to support his three earlier nominations — Babar Yaqoob Fateh, Arif Khan and Fazal Abbas Maken.
he opposition was pushing for its nominees for the CEC post, Nasir Mahmood Khosa, Jalil Abbas Jilani, and Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar – none of whom could win government’s endorsement. The PPP had proposed the name of former attorney general Irfan Qadir.