Appointment of regular CEC and role of politicians

Government and opposition parties are striving hard to develop consensus on the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) as a full bench of the Supreme Court last week had set November 13 deadline for the appointment of a new CEC, failing which the judge of the apex court would be withdrawn from officiating as the acting CEC. SC had also ordered the government to appoint a regular CEC.

The post is laying vacant after ex CEC Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim tendered his resignation over allegations of irregularities during 2013 elections. On Thursday, leader of the opposition in National Assembly during a meeting with the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reportedly proposed three names i.e. former Chief Justice Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui, Justice (retd) Mian Ajmal and Justice (retd) Rana Bhagwandas for appointment as the new CEC.He has told media men that the name of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) will be finalized within couple of days. He is likely to hold talks with other political parties including PTI, JI and MQM, hoping that consensus would be developed over one particular name. Khursheed Shah is in contact with the PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi and is likely to hold meetings with the leaders of Jamaat Islami, Awami National Party and FATA parliamentarians for consultation over the issue.

Khursheed Shah e has also advised the government to hold contacts with all political parties over the appointment of CEC. According to him, PML-N government will consult with Muttahida Qaumi Movement leaders over the matter.

While the PTI has PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi during a telephonic talks with Khursheed Shah Thursday told him to include the name of Justice (retired) Nasir Aslam Zahid in the list of three proposed former judges for the post of CEC. Shah Mehmood Qureshi revealed that his party leadership is of the view that all three proposed names were highly respectable; however, the name of Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid should also be added in the list.

The prime minister is expected to arrive Beijing Friday on official visit where he would hold meetings with the Chinese President, premier. A number of agreements and MoUs will be signed by the two countries in the field of energy.

The incumbent government needs to take into confidence all the stakeholders in order to develop a consensus over the appointment of regular CEC. The ruling party and other parties including PTI and PAT, MQM have to put their differences aside and must sit on same table to develop a consensus on the very issue as the appointment would have far reaching impact in the next general elections. The PTI has finally proposed Supreme Court Commission to probe what they alleged rigging in 2013 general polls. PTI Chief Imran Khan had conveyed a message to the incumbent government that his party would continue sit-ins but in the same time an SC commission should be formed to investigate the rigging. He said if the ruling party did not commit any rigging in the 2013 general polls then why they are hiding behind stay orders. He again demanded of the government to order recounting in four constituencies that would prove PTI’s stance over involvement of ruling party in the alleged rigging. Sirajul Haq, the Ameer Jammat-e- Islami who tried on his level best to mediate between the ruling party and the PTI, PAT to end political crisis, now opted to side with PTI in its struggle for upholding the supremacy of the constitution.

The ruling party seemed to have not learnt any lesson from the ongoing political impasse and keep ignoring the protesting parties especially the PTI. The rulers have turned their guns on Imran Khan making mockery of him of being left alone in his struggle to expose the alleged rigging committed by the incumbent government. PAT Chief did made a blunder by leaving the federal capital. He should have live up to his words but called off the sit-ins without taking Imran Khan into confidence. It was crystal clear from the beginning that despite have separate agenda, PTI as a goodwill gesture opted to stand side by side with the PAT Chief Dr Tahirul Qadri. Dr Qadri wanted arrest if PM, CM Punjab, dissolution of assemblies and formation of national government but later he changed his mind and astonished the whole nation by announcing that his party would take part in bye-polls, LBs Polls and would contest general elections. The PTI as well other political parties have to made decision in the larger interest of the country as it would have far reaching impact on the country’s future. The Prime Minister should have stayed in the country till the appointment of regular CEC but he decided to visit Beijing to seek help in energy sector. The ruling party has to demonstrate seriousness over the matter of national interest and must take along all the political parties when it comes to put an end to political uncertainty.

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