KARACHI: Pakistan's Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ebrahim resigned from his post on Wednesday, a week after the Supreme Court ordered the commission to hold presidential polls ahead of its original schedule.
“In accordance with Article 215(3) of the Constitution, I hereby resign from the office of the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan,” said Ebrahim in his resignation letter to the president, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com.
“I was appointed through a consultative process by the last Parliament. My constitutional term ends in 2017. However, in my humble opinion, the newly elected members of Parliament should have the opportunity to forge new consensus and choose a new Chief Election Commissioner. This will also allow the next Chief Election Commissioner sufficient time and opportunity to prepare and lead the Election Commission for the general elections of 2018,” said the letter which has been submitted to the president for approval.
The presidential spokesman confirmed receipt of the letter.
Ebrahim's resignation comes after the Election Commission and the Supreme Court came under fire from lawmakers during a session of the National Assembly and the Senate, with some members demanding that the chief election commissioner resign from his post.
Presidential elections were originally scheduled by the Election Commission to be held on August 6, and the commission had earlier rejected a government request to change the date of the poll.
However, two days later the Supreme Court ordered the commission to hold elections on July 30 as sought by the federal government in a petition filed in the court.
The CEC was displeased by the Supreme Court’s decision, and saw it as “an encroachment into the domain of the ECP by the apex court mandated under the constitution,” an official of the commission had told Dawn.
According to the report, Ebrahim had written a note declaring the court’s decision an attack on the independence of the ECP, and wanted his fellow members to endorse it and hold the election according to the original schedule. However, he was unable to get the support of three of the four available members.