ISLAMABAD                 -          The government is likely to suggest some new names for the vacant post of CEC as they failed to convince the Opposition on the name of Baber Yaqoob as upcoming CEC.

The new names for the empty position to be disclosed in today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Parliamentary Committee formed for the appointments of CEC and ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan.

Meanwhile, talking to The Nation the leader of the JUI-F and member of the Committee from Opposition side Shahida Akhtar Ali said that the Opposition was in no position to accept the name of Baber Yaqoob as Chief Election Commissioner.

She stated that they had resisted on the name of Baber Yaqoob as CEC; adding, that the government side was yet to disclose the new names for

the CEC.

She said that they had asked the government side for the draft of the new names but they denied to share the names and responded that the names would be disclosed in today’s meeting.

She claimed that it was decided between the government and Opposition that the two members for ECP to be appointed on the choice of Opposition and the CEC to be appointed on the choice of government side.

While answering a question Shahida Akhtar said that the deadlock between the government and Opposition was only persisted on the name of CEC; maintaining that the matter of the appointments of two members from Sindh and Balochistan was resolved.

On the other hand sources in the ruling party told The Nation that the government was reluctant to disclose the new names for the vacant position of CEC as they were yet to finalise the new names.

However, as The Nation frequently tried to take the version of government side none of the members of the Committee from the government side responded.

The Commission is yet to be made functional after the Chief Election Commissioner Justice (Retd) Sardar Raza Khan completed its tenure and got retired in December last year.

According to the Constitution of Pakistan the government and Opposition with mutual consensus are supposed to have consensus over the vacant posts in the ECP and these positions are to be filled within 45 days of the retirement of the members or Chief Election Commissioner.

Although, both the government and Opposition have failed to have some positive consensus over the names of ECP members and CEC in order to make the Commission functional.

In November last year, the Islamabad High Court had suspended the notification of the appointment of Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui and Munir Ahmed Kakar as ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan.

These long awaited appointments were made by President Arif Alvi on August 22 without having any consensus with the Opposition leader.

However, the then CEC had refused to administer oath to the two new members nominated by the government; terming the appointments as clear violation of the Constitution.

It is pertinent to mention that the PM had recommended Justice Sadiq Bhatti (Retd), Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi (Retd) and Abdul Jabbar Qureshi for the position of member ECP from Sindh and Dr Faiz Kakar, Naveed Jan Baloch and Amanullah Baloch for member ECP position from Balochistan,

The NA Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif had suggested the names of Nisar Durrani, Justice Abdur Rasool Memon (Retd) and Aurangzeb

Haq for the position of member ECP from Sindh, and Shah Mehmood Jatoi, Rauf Atta and Raheel Durrani for the same position from Balochistan, it is further learnt.

However, the Prime Minister Imran Khan had proposed the names of retired bureaucrats Fazal Abbas, Babar Yaqoob and Arif Khan for the slot of CEC, while Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif had recommended the names of Nasir Mahmood Khosa, Jalil Abbas Jilani and Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar for the same post.

Last month, the IHC had given both the government and the Opposition 10 days to resolve the matter through consensus as it was the mandate of the Parliament to resolve the issue.

But despite several meetings, the Parliamentary Committee formed for ECP appointments failed to develop consensus on nominees.