CEC appointment: NA unanimously passes 22nd constitutional amendment

ISLAMABAD: The national assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a constitutional amendment related to qualifications and procedure for appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and members of the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Two hundred thirty-six members cast their votes in favour of ‘The Constitution (Twenty-second Amendment) Bill 2016’, moved by Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid.

The amendment said in case there is no consensus between the prime minister and the leader of the opposition over appointment of the CEC, both shall send separate lists to the parliamentary committee for consideration and the committee shall approve one of them.

Hamid and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar termed the unanimously passing of the constitution as historic.

They congratulated all the parties and members of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms for creating consensus and passing the bill.

Hamid said electoral laws will soon be finalized by committee.

The national assembly today also adopted a motion authorizing the speaker to constitute a parliamentary committee to prepare Terms of Reference to probe Panama Papers issue in consultation with chairman senate, leader of the opposition and leaders of the parliamentary parties.

The motion moved by the law minister said the committee will consider various options to inquire important issues raised in controversy over Panama Papers, media reports about offshore companies, transfer of funds from Pakistan originating from corruption, commissions, kickback and written off bank loans.

The committee will formulate the TORs and determine the timeline for submission of the report.

The committee will include six nominees from of the government and six from the opposition in both houses of the parliament.

The committee will submit its report to the parliament within two weeks.

The house will now meet tomorrow morning at 10:30.- APP