ISLAMABAD: Justice (retd) Altaf Ibrahim Qureshi on Friday was sworn in as acting chief election commissioner (CEC).
Justice Qureshi, who is senior election commission member from Punjab, takes over from Justice (r) Sardar Mohammad Raza whose tenure ended on December 5.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has now technically been rendered dysfunctional as it has only two members out of five and under the law there should be at least three members in the bench to hear the cases.
A day earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan recommended the names of Fazal Abbas, Babar Yaqoob and Arif Khan for the post of CEC.
The approval from the prime minister came on the last day of Justice (retd) Raza’s tenure and after opposition’s petition in the Supreme Court to intervene in the matter.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif had proposed the names of Nasir Mehmood Khosa, Jalil Abbas Jillani and Ikhlaq Ahmed Tarar for the post of CEC.
Shehbaz has also proposed the names of Nisar Durrani, Justice (retd) Abdul Rasul Memon and Aurangzeb Haq as Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) member from Sindh.
From Balochistan, he has recommended the names of lawyer Shah Mohammad Jatoi, former advocate general Mohammad Rauf Atta and Raheela Durrani.
The government has proposed the names of Justice (retd) Sadiq Bhatti, Justice (retd) Noorul Haq Qureshi and Abdul Jabbar Qureshi for the post of the ECP member from Sindh. For Balochistan, the prime minister approved the names of Dr Faiz Kakar, Naveed Jan Baloch and Amanullah Baloch.
Earlier, a meeting of the bipartisan parliamentary panel tasked with the responsibility to finalise the ECP members had ended in a deadlock with both sides sticking to their stance.