Monday April 22, 2024

ECP to announce Punjab's caretaker CM 'tomorrow'

Fawad Chaudhry hopes ECP selects "better name instead of appointing someone who is Sharif and Zardari's frontman"

By Nausheen Yusuf
January 21, 2023
Election Commission of Pakistan headquarters in Islamabad. — ECP website
Election Commission of Pakistan headquarters in Islamabad. — ECP website

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja has summoned a meeting on January 22 (Sunday) to decide caretaker chief minister of Punjab as the government and opposition failed to reach a consensus on the nominees in this regard, Geo News reported on Saturday citing sources.

The matter of the caretaker CM's appointment faced an unusual delay after the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly last week, due to constant back-and-forth between the provincial government and the opposition on the nominees.

With the two sides remaining at loggerheads, the ECP decided to look into the matter and decide according to the constitution. 

According to details available with Geo News, the names of four nominees — two from the government and one from the opposition each — have been received by the ECP. The electoral body will review the names in the meeting, which CEC and other members of the commission would also attend.

'Hope ECP selects a better person'

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said that the ECP would pick one from the four nominees under Article 244A of the Constitution of Pakistan, within two days.

Taking to his Twitter handle, Fawad wrote that the ECP could not nominate anyone for the post of provincial chief executive according to its choice.

"I hope that the ECP selects a better name instead of appointing someone who is Sharif and Zardari's frontman," the PTI leader said.

It should be noted that former Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi — who is a PTI ally — has already declared that if the decision-making power is left to the ECP, he will take the matter to the Supreme Court.

Govt, opposition at loggerheads

The government and the opposition Friday remained at loggerheads over the appointment of Punjab's caretaker chief minister, as the parliamentary committee — formed on Thursday — comprising three members from both sides could not reach a consensus on the matter in a meeting held on Friday.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Malik, speaking to journalists after the meeting, said: "This was an opportunity to settle things politically, but that could not be done here."

"When there are so many polarised positions, there can be no agreement."

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader also lamented the stalemate, saying, “when the house was small, the people were big; now the house has become big, while people have become small."

“Unfortunately we could not agree [on a name], we are not leaving with good memories," he added.