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ECP meets on selection of caretaker PM

March 23, 2013

Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim chairs a meeting of the ECP. — INP/File Photo

ISLAMABAD: A consultative meeting of the Election Commission of Pakistan for the selection of a caretaker prime minister was taking place on Saturday, DawnNews reported.

The meeting was being chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim. Members of the ECP from Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were present at the meeting, and the commission's member from Sindh, Justice (retd) Roshan Isani, was available via a video link.

During the meeting, a letter of the bipartisan parliamentary committee constituted to reach a consensus on a name for caretaker PM was also presented.

The meeting was discussing the names submitted by the government and the opposition through the letter. The names are Ishrat Hussain, Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid, Rasool Bakhsh Palijo and Mir Hazar Khan Khoso.

Earlier today, Ebrahim said the commission would arrive at a decision on the matter within two hours' time.

Under the law, the ECP is required to take a decision in two days, with the deadline expiring on the night between March 24 and 25. In case of difference of opinion, the majority view will prevail.

The ball came in the ECP’s court after politicians in the parliamentary committee decided to give up and agreed to hand over the task of selecting the caretaker prime minister to the election commission.

On Friday evening, the bipartisan committee, at the end of their three days of deliberations, announced that the five-member ECP would now choose the man to oversee the general elections.

The scenario had previously been predicted by PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar even before the committee had begun its proceedings. He had said the committee would not be able to decide on a name and the matter would eventually be in the hands of the election commission. The opposition leader had also pushed the idea within his party that the decision on caretaker prime minister should be taken by the ECP.

Nisar’s press conference is said to have played a huge role in spoiling the mood of the committee members representing the government side.