IHC orders issue of ECP appointments be sent to parliament – Pakistan

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday ordered that the question of the appointment of two members of the Electoral Commission of Pakistan (ECP) be sent to parliament.

During the hearing of a petition that challenges the appointments, the president of the Supreme Court of IHC, Athar Minallah, said that the president of the National Assembly and the president of the Senate should "end the deadlock" and prevent the PCE from returning "not functional". In addition, the higher court said it should follow a written order.

President Dr. Arif Alvi, on August 22, appointed Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui of Sindh and Munir Ahmed Kakar of Balochistan against two of the vacant positions previously occupied by Abdul Ghaffar Soomro and retired judge Shakeel Baloch of the respective provinces.

The head of the electoral commission (CEC) refused to administer the oath to both designated members and wrote a letter to the law ministry, saying that the appointment of PCE members did not agree with the relevant articles of the Constitution.

After this, the IHC admitted a petition filed by lawyer Jahangir Khan Jadoon, challenging the appointments, for a regular hearing.

During today's process, additional attorney general Amir Rehman told the court that petitions regarding ECP appointments had been filed in the main court, the Sindh High Court and the Lahore High Court.

"This is a matter of public interest, do you want the election commission not to work?" Judge Minallah asked during the process.

Saying that the PCE had become "almost non-functional," he asked: "Can parliament not even solve such a small problem?"

Judge Minallah said that the president of the National Assembly and the president of the Senate should solve the problem through consultations.

"Does the federal government still want to defend the stalemate?" The IHC chief justice asked, in response to which the additional attorney general said he should be granted permission to ask the federal government for instructions.

The court expressed its confidence in the parliament to resolve the matter, as Judge Minallah said: "Who will say that this matter should not be resolved in the parliament forum? Constitutional institutions should not be non-functional; does the government want this? "

Before today's hearing, the secretary of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs presented a response in court on behalf of the federal government, asking the IHC to suspend the proceedings on the petition until the Supreme Court issued its verdict on the matter.

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1510803/ihc-orders-issue-of-ecp-appointments-be-sent-to-parliament

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