Chief ECP refuses to administer oath to 2 new ECP members

ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Mohammad Raza has refused to administer oath to two members of the Election Commission of Pakistan recently appointed by President Arif Alvi, official told media.

In an official notification issued the previous day, the government had announced the appointment of two new members of the Election Commission – Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui from Sindh and Munir Ahmed Kakar from Balochistan.

The appointment was about seven months after the retirement of ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan.

“The President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is please to appoint the following persons as Members of the Election Commission of Pakistan, name:- (a) Mr. Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui – Sindh; (b) Mr. Munir Ahmed Kakar – Balochistan,” read the notification by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.

But official told media that the chief election commissioner has refused to administer oath to the new members as he believes their appointment has not been carried out as per the Constitution of Pakistan.

As per the Constitution, the appointment has to be made within 45 days of the position being vacated. However, this could not be done owing to no possibility of consultations between the prime minister and the leader of opposition in the National Assembly.

Official said that CEC Sardar Mohammad Raza has informed the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs of his decision not to administer oath to the new members.

Former Senate chairman and senior leader of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani has also termed the appointment by President Arif Ali as a violation of the Constitution.

He said that it was unfortunate that attacks were being carried out on the parliament and the Constitution from inside. He said that the President was part of the parliament but he violated the 18th Constitutional Amendment with “dishonest intentions”.

He said that no consultation took place between the prime minister and the president, which is necessary for the appointment of ECP members after the 18th Amendment.