ISLAMABAD - The appointment of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) members from smaller provinces may be taken up in Parliament after Eidul Fitr. The Opposition is planning to suggest government to discuss it in the Parliamentary Committee to decide over-four month long pending matter, background discussion with Opposition lawmakers revealed on Monday. The difference of opinion prevailed between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif on the names of members of the ECP from Sindh and Balochistan.  The matter, they said, will be taken up in budget session (in National Assembly) starting from June 11th. Opposition leader had recommended six names for the vacant seats of both smaller provinces contrary to the names proposed by the Prime Minister. The written communication reportedly between the two leaders could not reach a consensus and now the matter will be tried in Parliamentary Committee on the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and members of the ECP. The ECP members Abdul Ghaffar Soomro and Justice (Retd) Shakeel Baloch from Sindh and Balochistan retired on January 26, 2019 while their replacement under the Constitution should have been done by March 12 this year. The government missed the Constitutional deadline for appointing the members within 45 days. According to Article 215(4) of the Constitution, “Vacancy in the office of the Commissioner or a member shall be filled within 45 days.”

  Around five months have passed after the expiry of the deadline and this matter is still hanging.  Under the prescribed rules and procedures (Articles 213 and 218 of the Constitution), “The PM in consultation with the Opposition leader forwards three names for the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner or a Commission (ECP) member to a Parliamentary Committee for hearing and confirmation of one name.”