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Azam Swati rebuffs ‘unconstitutional’ claim over newly appointed ECP members

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Swati on Saturday stayed firm on the decision of two newly appointed Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) members and rebuffed the claims of declaring it unconstitutional.

PTI leader posted a video message on the appointment of Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui from Sindh and Munir Ahmed Kakar from Balochistan, saying the appointments were made following the consultation with the concerned institutes. “The President appointed the new ECP members as a result of the deadlock”, he added.

Azam Swati expressed that the appointments became an issue of deadlock when neither Prime Minister Imran Khan nor Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif shared a mutual decision. Several meetings of the parliamentary committee were also held but there no result was produced, he added.

The federal minister asserted that the government could not leave any constitutional body inactive under Article 215. He added that by-elections were to be held in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but the commission was not complete whereas government also consulted Speaker Office and Ministry of Law before appointing new members.

Azam Swati said that a summary of the deadlock was sent to the President Dr Arfi Alvi with recommendations for new members. The President took a decision using the constitutional authority as a neutral umpire. All of the lawyers’ community also welcomed the decision of the President, he added.

On August 23, Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Mohammad Raza Khan on Friday refused the oath-taking of the newly appointed Election Commission members.

A statement issued by the CEC said that the appointment of new members is a violation of the constitution. “The appointment of new members was not in accordance with Articles 213 and 214 of the constitution”, he stated.

CEC Mohammad Raza Khan had formally notified Parliamentary Affairs in this regard.

The federal government appointed two members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) — Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui from Sindh and Munir Ahmed Kakar from Balochistan yesterday.

On August 22, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said that her party rejects the appointment of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) members and terms it ‘unconstitutional’.

The statement issued by Marriyum Aurangzeb stated that the parliamentary committee was ignored in the appointment of the ECP members. The government issued a notification bypassing the Parliament, she added.

She accused the government of violating constitutional, parliamentary, democratic requirements and rules. “The PML-N demands the government to adopt a constitutional and parliamentary procedure on the unilateral step and withdraw the decision”, she added.

PML-N spokesperson expressed that her party demands the ECP members to be convened in consultation with the joint opposition.

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