LAHORE (MIAN DAWOOD) – The ouster of Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani from the Premiership has once again put the appointment of new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) in the doldrums as the names referred to the Parliamentary Committee (PC) by Gilani after his conviction on April 26th stand scrapped and invalid.

The Supreme Court has disqualified Gilani as Prime Minister with effect from April 26th, 2012. The process of floating names will be started afresh by the new Prime Minister and when he does it, is anybody’s guess. 

Deeming himself a Prime Minister, Gilani had after April 26th, the day when he was convicted by superior judiciary, suggested three names for Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) — former judges, Justice (Retd) Munir A Sheikh, Justice (Retd) Amirul Mulk Mengal and Justice (Retd) Zahid Iqbal Alvi.

However, Alvi had excused himself from being appointed as CEC. Later, Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had objected and suggested three other names, Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice (Retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid and Justice (Retd) Fakhruddin G Ibrahim.

Before the SC’s judgment, the PC headed by Khursheed Shah was in the process of conducting meetings to reach consensus, but could not finalise the name.

Talking to The Nation, senior lawyer Abid Hassan Manto and Vice Chairman of Pakistan Bar Council Akhtar Hussain were of the opinion that there would be no Constitutional vacuum after the disqualification of Gilani.

They said, however, the situation would be cleared after the detailed judgment of the apex court in Speaker’s ruling case.

“We will have to see whether the court invalidates all the orders, directives and other acts of Gilani or not,” Manto maintained.

The apex court could validate all steps, orders, directives and other acts of Gilani as it had done in case of Abdul Hameed Dogar after his retirement, Akhtar Hussain said.