Supreme Court refuses to extend deadline on appointing CEC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan Monday refused to lend more time to the government for appointment of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC). A three- member bench headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk commenced hearing of the case of CEC’s appointment.
Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt informed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah had consensus over a name but after the objection raised by one of the political parties during a rally, the named individual excused himself from taking up the position. Attorney General added that they are giving in their sincere efforts to have consent among all parties. Justice Gulzar asked to provide the record of those ‘sincere efforts’ adding that not even an hour more could be granted.
Salman Butt said Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah is unwell and out of country and that the matter would be settled when leader of the opposition returns in a day or two. Justice Nasirul Mulk responded that Khursheed Shah’s physical presence is not necessary and that could be contacted over the phone but the deadline cannot be extended.
PM would leave for a tour when opposition leader returns; appointment of CEC is being dawdled, he added. Refusing to allow more time the Apex Court pronounced that this issue would be brought under discussion during the case hearing of local bodies elections on Dec 1. CJ said notices would be served to Prime Minister and the opposition leader. Meanwhile, orders to recall the interim CEC would also be issued. The court adjourned the hearing till 1st December.  DNA

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