SC gives two-week deadline to govt to appoint permanent CEC

Orders three provinces to legislate on LB polls by Oct 16

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the federal government two weeks deadline to appoint a permanent Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), a post which cannot be left vacant in the absence of a permanent head of commission.

It also ordered three provinces — Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — to enact legislation by October 16 (Thursday) for holding local bodies’ elections.

During the hearing of the local bodies elections case, a three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk threatened to withdraw the nomination of its judge, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, who is presently acting as CEC if the federal government failed to appoint a permanent CEC.

The court also dismissed the response submitted by the Sindh government regarding the delimitation of the constituencies and also directed the government to appoint a permanent CEC within two weeks’ time.

The court has furthermore directed the Sindh government to present a bill about demarcation of the constituencies by Thursday. It pronounced to summon chief minister Sindh in case they are unable to produce response in due time.

Earlier, a response regarding the local bodies elections in Punjab and Sindh was submitted in the Supreme Court by Advocate General Sindh Fateh Malik stating that Governor Sindh has raised objection to a few technicalities in the draft regarding the demarcation of local constituencies. He said the ordinance will be issued if the objection be dealt with.

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