ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister in consultation with all political stakeholders has decided to plead before the Supreme Court of Pakistan to grant time to government till the completion of the electoral reforms so that the new Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan could be appointed in the light of these reforms.

Sources aware of the developments taking place on this front informed The Nation on Monday that the legal aides of PML-N government have completed the spade work and Attorney General of Pakistan would submit the request from the government in this regard in the Supreme Court on the next date of hearing of the case.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Nasirul Mulk at the head of a three-member bench, hearing the case regarding the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner on previous date of hearing, had directed the government to appoint permanent Chief Election Commissioner in two weeks time, failing which the apex court would withdraw its judge performing the duties as acting CEC.

As the deadline would be expiring today, the Attorney General of Pakistan would likely furnish the reply before the court and present the government’s point of view and would pray for granting government time for the appointment till the accomplishment of electoral reforms process and subsequent legislation on the matter by the Parliament.

The sources informed that the matter also came up for discussion in the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms and it was the unanimous view of the members that the government should seek time from the apex court till the accomplishment of the committee’s task, so that the permanent CEC and members could be appointed in the light of the new legislation. The sources said that keeping in view the proposals coming from various quarters to the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms the procedure for appointment of ECP and as well as the four provincial members of ECP was widely criticised.

Some of them also hinted at some changes in their appointment mechanism including the incorporation of the role of political parties within and outside the Parliament in the process. It is worth mentioning here that almost all the major political parties in the country wanted revamping of the existing electoral system with the aim to removing anomalies and flaws in it, with majority of these parties including PTI had raised serious concerns over the appointment mechanism of CEC as well as the four provincial members.