WEB DESK: The joint opposition could not evolve consensus on the names for their appointments on the posts of Members of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and Terms of References (ToRs) for the proposed Judicial Commission to investigate the Panama Papers leaks.
It, however, decided to hold its next meeting on July 19. The united opposition met with Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah in the chair at Parliament House on Wednesday.
Leaders of opposition parties such as Shah Mahmood Qureshi of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed of Awami Muslim League (AML) and others participated in the meeting. The opposition leaders said that free, fair and transparent elections are essential for real democracy and they do not want any further disputed elections in the country.
After the meeting, Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah told media persons that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) needs members “who are not already employees of any group.” He said the names of Election Commission (EC) members have not been finalised. He said during the meeting detailed consultations were held over the names of EC members presented by the government. He said the opposition wants transparent appointments of EC Members.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the government has failed to create divisions in the opposition. He said that the nation cannot afford another controversial election in the country. He said that Members for Election Commission must not be appointed on the basis of favouritism. He said the deadlock continues between the PML-N government and opposition on ToRs. He said that issue of TOR’s was also discussed in the opposition parties meeting. However, he added, the opposition would take a final decision in its next joint meeting which would be held on July 19, 2016.
The leaders of opposition parties also condemned the Indian brutalities in the occupied Kashmir. Under the Constitution, only Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah have exclusive roles in the appointments of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and ECP Members. However, in order to evolve greater consensus, other political and parliamentary players are also being taken into confidence. This process also helps in selection of relatively non-controversial and non-partisan figures for important positions.
The deadline for appointments of EC Members is July 25. The government side has no problem in firming up the list of its nominees because it doesn’t need to consult anybody for the purpose. However, Khursheed Shah may face a different scenario. He has to take on board all the opposition parties on his proposed names for their appointments for the vacant slots of ECP Members. Every parliamentary party in this alliance will obviously aggressively try to push its favoured representatives to induct them as the ECP Members.
Source: Business Recorder