All eyes on ECP as caretaker Punjab CM to be picked today

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will pick one person out of the four forwarded to it today (Sunday) to lead the interim Punjab government during the polls after the government and opposition failed to develop a consensus on a caretaker chief minister.

A meeting has been summoned by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja to deliberate over the names of Punjab’s interim CM. The matter was sent to the electoral body under Clause 3 of Article 224-A of the Constitution.

“Provided that in case of inability of the committee to decide the matter in the aforesaid period, the names of the nominees shall be referred to the Election Commission of Pakistan for final decision within two days,” says the clause.

Today (Sunday) is the last day for the electoral body to pick a name for the caretaker chief minister. As per sources in the ECP, a meeting will be held today and all eyes were now on the commission.

Outgoing Punjab chief minister Parvez Elahi had proposed the names of Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera and Naveed Akram Cheema while opposition leader Hamza Shehbaz had forwarded the names of Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi and Ahad Khan Cheema.

The matter landed at the ECP after a parliamentary committee, constituted by the Punjab Assembly speaker, failed to evolve a consensus on a candidate for the slot of the caretaker chief minister.

The six-member committee, having equal representation from the treasury and opposition, had only a day to deliberate upon the nominations made by the outgoing chief minister and opposition leader.

Though, as per Article 224-A of the Constitution, the parliamentary committee has three days to select one of the four nominees yet to a delay in the notification for the formation of the panel, the committee was left with only one day to consider the four names.

Elahi, an ally of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has already announced to approach a court if any controversial person was selected by the ECP from the four-nominee panel.

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