ISLAMABAD - Parliamentary Committee on Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and members of the Election Commission of Pakistan will be meeting tomorrow to initiate the process of electing two members of the commission retiring on January 26.

Speaker National Assembly on Friday last reconstituted the 12-member Parliamentary Committee to decide on appointment of two of the 4 members of the commission representing federating units.

Following changes in eligibility and appointment procedure for CEC and 4 members of the EC through 22nd Constitutional Amendment, instead of simultaneous retirement of all 4 members on completion of 5 years term, two of them have to leave the office after midway for once so that there will be no break in the Election Commission and every half term, two of the four members would retire.

It is the first time two of the four members are to leave the office on completion of half term through ballot which was held in the second week of December. Member of the commission from Sindh Abdul Ghaffar Soomro and member from Balochistan Justice (R) Shakeel Baloch were picked through ballot and they would be retiring on 26th.

According to the National Assembly notification, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaisar reconstituted the Parliamentary Committee in pursuance of clause (2B) of Article 213 read with clause (2) of Article 218 of the Constitution.

The Parliamentary Committee comprises 12 members that include 8 members of the National Assembly and 4 from the Senate and government and opposition have equal representation in it.

The committee comprised Minister for Aviation Division Muhammad Mian Soomro, Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan, Syed Fakhar Imam, MNA and Ramesh Kumar Vankwani from government while from ppposition, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Rana Sanaullah Khan, Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Shahida Akhtar Ali, while 4 members from Senate include Senators Azam Khan Swati and Naseebullah Bazai from the government and Mushahidullah Khan and Dr Sikandar Mandhro from the opposition.

In its maiden meeting, the Parliamentary body will ask the Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition to forward names to the committee for consideration and after deliberations, the committee with two-third majority would pick members for Sindh and Balochistan.

Under the rules, Prime Minister Imran Khan in consultation with Leader of Opposition in National Assembly would forward 3 names each for Sindh and Balochistan and out of these; the committee would pick the members with two-third majority.

In case the Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition in National Assembly could not evolve consensus on 3 names for each province, then they would send their separate lists of 3 names each for each province and again the Parliamentary panel would be empowered to pick any of the names from these lists to be the member of Election Commission of Pakistan for next five years. In case of disagreement, a total of 12 names would be forwarded to the committee while in case of agreement; a list of 3 nominees for each province would be forwarded to the committee.

Earlier, only serving or retired judges of high court or a person eligible to become the judge of high court could qualify for the slot of member of Election Commission but now after the passage of the 22nd Constitutional Amendment, a retired bureaucrat and technocrat could also become member of Election Commission.