ECP appointment panel drops plan to amend rules

ECP appointment panel drops plan to amend rules
ISLAMABAD: The parliamentary committee on the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has dropped the plan to amend its rules.
As per reports, a notice placed by the National Assembly’s secretariat on its official website on Thursday, the panel’s meeting scheduled for Dec 24 had an amendment to the committee’s rules on the agenda.

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The very next day, a revised agenda was released this time excluding item number 2 related to the amendment of committee rules.
Though the original agenda did not specify the amendment, that it was all about doing away with the requirement of a two-thirds majority to confirm the nomination for the CEC or a member of the commission.
Clause 2 of the parliamentary committee on the CEC appointment and members of the Election Commission Rules 2011 in its present form reads.
“The committee after considering the nomination for an actual or anticipated vacancy of the Chief Election Commissioner or a member of the Election Commission. may hear and confirm any nomination by a two-thirds majority of its total membership within fourteen days of the receipt of such nomination.”
The decision to amend the rule had been taken in view of the ongoing stalemate over the CEC appointment and members of the ECP from Sindh and Balochistan to pave the way for a decision on appointments with a simple majority. The parliamentary committee has 12 members six each from the government and the opposition.
Committee member Mushahidullah Khan while talking to media had disclosed that the exact amendment the PTI was looking for had not been shared with the members of the panel belonging to the opposition and criticised non-transparency in proceedings.
On Aug 22, the president appointed Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui as ECP member for Sindh and Munir Ahmed Kakar for Balochistan against the positions vacated by Abdul Ghaffar Soomro and retired Justice Shakeel Baloch, from the two provinces.

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Both the government and the opposition had already proposed three names each for the three vacant positions in the ECP, but the parliamentary committee having equal representation of the government and the opposition could not reach an understanding.
National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser tried to play the role of a facilitator and held two meetings with the representatives from both the sides, but failed to break the deadlock.
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