ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Justice (retd) Rana Bhagwandas has excused from becoming the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), citing personal reasons.
It was earlier reported that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had reached consensus on the name of Justice (retd) Rana Bhagwan Das as the new CEC.
In addition, the PPP senior leader Raza Rabbani had been tasked with convincing Justice (retd) Rana Bhagwandas to accept the post.
The PPP senior leader held a meeting with Justice (retd) Rana Bhagwandas in Karachi on Saturday and informed him about the agreement reached between the government and the opposition parties on his name regarding the appointment of the CEC. However, Bhagwandas thanked the two parties and excused from taking charge as the CEC.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah held consultations with each other in a meeting in Islamabad on Thursday on the appointment of the CEC.
Later, the opposition leader told media that the prime minister had proposed the names of retied Justices Tassaduq Jillani, Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui and Rana Bhagwandas, whereas he suggested the names of retired Justices Mian Muhammad Ajmal and Tariq Pervez Khan.
On the other hand, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) proposed the name of the Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid for head of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) also proposed four names to the federal government and the opposition for head of the election commission.
The federal government is holding meetings with leaders of various political parties including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the JI Ameer Sirajul Haq, National Party leader Hasil Bizenjo, MQM leaders Haider Abbas Rizvi and Babar Khan Ghauri, Qaumi Watan Party chief Aftab Sherpao, and Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haji Adeel to take them into confidence on the appointment of the new CEC.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has given the stakeholders November 13 as deadline to complete consultation and appoint the new CEC, a post that has been vacant since August last year as Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim voluntarily resigned at that time from the post.