ISLAMABAD - President Asif Ali Zardari has appointed Justice (Retd) Hamid Ali Mirza as new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), an official announced on Tuesday. Justice Hamid Ali Mirza has served as judge of the apex court for more than two years and retired shortly before the judicial fiasco on November 3, 2007 when former dictator Pervez Musharraf sacked more than 50 independent minded judges, led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. The appointment of Justice Mirza as Chief Election Commissioner has come in sharp contrast with the prediction that PPP would appoint the incumbent Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar as the next CEC after his retirement on March 21. Qazi Farooq had retired on March 15, 2008, as Chief Election Commissioner and the post had been lying vacant since then. The new appointment of CEC has been made contrary to the demand of Pakistan Muslim League-N, which has been calling for the posting of new CEC as per Charter of Democracy. Charter of Democracy, signed by Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif in May 2006, had suggested that the President should appoint the CEC after consulting Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly. However, no such consultation took place before the appointment of Justice Mirza Hamid on Tuesday.