The long wait for the appointment of chief election commissioner (CEC) came to an end as Justice (retired) Sardar Raza was nominated for the position of CEC. The government and the opposition on December 3 shortlisted three names for the position which has been vacant for over a year now.
Supreme Court had earlier said it will consider issuing contempt notices to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah if they fail to appoint a new CEC by December 8. Justice (retd) Raza,
Justice (retd) Tanvir Ahmad Khan and Justice (retd) Tariq Pervez were the three candidates shortlisted for the post when Ishaq Dar -on behalf of the prime minister- and Khurshid Shah held discussions on Wednesday. The three names were forwarded to the Parliamentary Committee on the Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner, of which Raza was the most favourable candidate for the position. Justice (retd) Raza hails from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and previously served as the civil judge and senior civil judge till May 1976 prior to his promotion to the post of additional district and sessions judge.
He was then made chief justice of Peshawar High Court in April 2000, two years after which he was appointed to the Supreme Court. Addressing the media following the meeting, Rafiq Rajwana – head of the Parliamentary Committee on the Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner-said that all parties had been consulted by Shah and lengthy discussions were held with the prime minister. He went on to say that Justice (retd) Raza had been elected in accordance with the Constitution and as per Article 218.
“It is the responsibility of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold transparent elections so that no blame can be attributed to the ECP,” he added. When questioned about the absence of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf members during today’s meeting, Rajwana said that “as per Article 213, if anyone is absent from the meeting or if there is a vacancy in the committee, it will have no impact on the decision being made.”