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December 6, 2019

IHC gives more time to appoint ECP members

Top Story

December 6, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday gave more time for the appointment of Members of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

PML-N Member National Assembly (MNA) Murtaza Javed Abbasi and Dr Nisar Cheema had challenged the appointment of ECP members on the seats of Sindh and Balochistan in the Islamabad High Court, which led to the suspension of appointment of new members.

During the hearing, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the role of Senate chairman and the Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) is praiseworthy. The legislation is with parliament but the judiciary is being included in the parliamentary affairs.

Justice Athar further remarked that the issue needed to be solved through parliament. He said that the issue could be resolved within one week.

The secretary requested the court to give 10 days for resolving the matter of ECP appointments. To this, MNA Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha agreed to give 10 days for appointment of ECP members.

Ranjha argued that the premier is not serious to resolve issues, as he is ready to sit with the opposition for consultations. To this, Justice Athar Minallah remarked that Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) is a constitutional position. Opposition and theruling side should be on the same page in national interests. It is recommended to amend character instead of amending the Constitution.

The court later adjourned the hearing till December 17. Appointment of ECP members raised after the retirement of ECP members Abdul Ghaffar Soomro from Sindh and Justice (R) Shakeel Baloch from Balochistan in January and, as per law their replacements were to be made within 45 days. A consultation between the prime minister and the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly is required for the appointment of the ECP members.