No decision yet on caretaker PM: Secretary ECP

ISLAMABAD: Secretary Election Commission Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan said on Saturday that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has yet to reach a consensus on the name of caretaker Prime Minister as its member from Sindh, Justice (retd) Roshan Raisani, could not attend the meeting, Dispatch News Desk (DND) reported.

Talking to media outside the ECP building on Saturday, the ECP Secretary said that Roshan Raisani was on his way to Islamabad from Karachi.

The ECP would resume its consultative meeting after the arrival of Raisani tonight, he said.

“If the ECP fails to make a decision today, it will definitely announce the caretaker PM’s name tomorrow,” he said. The Election Commission will make a decision in line with the Constitution without any pressure, he said.

The ECP Secretary further said commission meeting also reviewed minutes of the parliamentary committee’s three-day deliberations.

Earlier, an important meeting of the Election Commission held in Islamabad to finalize the name of caretaker Prime Minister, as the Parliamentary committee failed to reach a consensus on it.

Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim presided over the consultative meeting, while members of the ECP from Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were present at the meeting, and the commission’s member from Sindh, Justice (retd) Roshan Raisani, was available via a video link.

The meeting took into consideration the names submitted by the government and the opposition through the letter. The names include Ishrat Hussain, Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid, Rasool Bakhsh Palijo and Mir Hazar Khan Khoso.

Under the law, the ECP is required to take a decision in two days, with the deadline expiring on the night between March 24 and 25. In case of difference of opinion, the majority view will prevail.

The ball came in the ECP’s court after politicians in an eight-member bipartisan parliamentary committee decided to give up and agreed to hand over the task of selecting the caretaker prime minister to the election commission.

On Friday evening, the committee, at the end of its three days of deliberations, announced that the five-member ECP would now choose the man to oversee the general elections.