Says their appointment was unconstitutional
Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan has excused himself from administering the oath two new Election Commission members appointed by the president.
They said that their appointment was in violation of the Constitution.
On Thursday, the government issued a notification that Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui has been appointed as a member from Sindh while Munir Ahmed Khan Kakar from Balochistan.
Senator Raza Rabbani said that the CEC did the right thing. He accused President Arif Alvi of violating the 18th Amendment.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Swati said that it can’t be said that the new members were appointed illegally. “It is sad that the chief election commissioner didn’t administer the oath to the new members,” he remarked, adding that the accusations he has levelled will be investigated.
The two posts have been lying vacant since January 26, after the retirement of Abdul Ghaffar Soomro and Justice (retd) Shakeel Baloch. The law requires that the posts be filled in 45 days.
The opposition criticised the government over its failure to reach a consensus on the appointments. In March, the prime minister submitted three names each for the vacancies to Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif. He nominated former sessions judge Amanullah Baloch, lawyer Kakar and businessperson Mir Naveed Jan Baloch for Balochistan. For Sindh, he suggested the names of Siddiqui, a lawyer, former high court judge Farrukh Zia Sheikh and former Sindh IG Iqbal Mehmood.
The government, however, amended its list and proposed the names of former Balochistan advocate general Dr Salahuddin Mengal, former additional advocate general Mahmud Raza Khan, and former NAB prosecutor Raja Aamir Abbasi for Balochistan. For Sindh, it suggested former judge Mohammad Nadeem Qureshi and justices (retd) Abdul Rasool Memon and Noorul Haq Qureshi.
Responding to this, the opposition amended its list of candidates too. Their list included the names of three out of the six nominees dropped by the government.
The two lists were exchanged on June 14 during a meeting of a parliamentary committee on ECP appointments. A meeting was held again on June 19 to finalise the names but no consensus could be reached.