Opposition parties move Supreme Court over ECP appointments

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ISLAMABAD: Opposition parties on Wednesday approached the Supreme Court to intervene to break the deadlock over the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).
The petition was filed today as the government and the opposition continued to differ over nominees for Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) member posts despite two meetings of a bipartisan parliamentary committee tasked with deciding the issue.
The election commission and the federal government have been made respondents in the opposition’s petition.
The petition notes that Article 213 is silent in case the parliamentary committee fails to reach a consensus on the appointment of the chief election commissioner. The petitioners argue that this lacuna might trigger a ‘constitutional crisis’.
The incumbent CEC is retiring on December 5, which would render the election commission ‘dysfunctional’ as two members of the commission have already been retired, the petitioners fear.
“This would halt the entire election process in the country,” the petition states.
Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry had earlier urged the opposition to ‘soften’ their stance and not take the matter to court.
Chaudhry, in a tweet, had asked if politicians are so “inexperienced” that they cannot agree on a single name for the election commission, adding that if that is so, how will they develop consensus over other ‘major’ issues faced by the nation.

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