ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja has summoned a session tomorrow on January 22 (Sunday) to deliberate over the proposed names of Punjab’s caretaker chief minister to fill the highest post of the province Sunday.
The sources said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will announce the name of the Punjab caretaker CM tomorrow.
The development comes after the six-member bi-partisan parliamentary committee, formed by the Speaker Punjab Assembly Sibtain Khan, failed to reach a consensus over the names for the interim CM.
The matter of the caretaker CM’s appointment faced an unusual delay after the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly last week, due to constant back-and-forth between the provincial government and the opposition on the nominees.
According to details the names of four nominees — two from the government and one from the opposition each — have been received by the ECP.
The electoral body will review the names in the meeting, which CEC and other members of the commission would also attend.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said that the ECP would pick one from the four nominees under Article 244A of the Constitution of Pakistan, within two days.
Taking to his Twitter handle, Fawad wrote that the ECP could not nominate anyone for the post of provincial chief executive according to its choice.
“I hope that the ECP selects a better name instead of appointing someone who is Sharif and Zardari’s frontman,” the PTI leader said.
It should be noted that former Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi — who is a PTI ally — has already declared that if the decision-making power is left to the ECP, he will take the matter to the Supreme Court.
The government and the opposition Friday remained at loggerheads over the appointment of Punjab’s caretaker chief minister, as the parliamentary committee — formed on Thursday — comprising three members from both sides could not reach a consensus on the matter in a meeting held on Friday.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Malik, speaking to journalists after the meeting, said: “This was an opportunity to settle things politically, but that could not be done here.”
“When there are so many polarized positions, there can be no agreement.”
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader also lamented the stalemate, saying, “when the house was small, the people were big; now the house has become big, while people have become small.”
“Unfortunately we could not agree [on a name], we are not leaving with good memories,” he added.
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