Consensus Required.

The decision to replace members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) after retirement has been a lingering issue in ensuring the transparency body is representative. The system of replacement is such that the constitution requires that the Prime Minister and opposition leader reach a consensus and appoint the officials within 45 days. Despite the intense rivalry that ensues between PTI and PML-N, it is good to see PM Imran Khan take the initiative to write a letter to Shehbaz Sharif proposing six candidates for the vacancy. With three days left for the deadline to lapse, it is reassuring to see that at least some progress is being made.

The ECP is a body that is supposed to maintain its neutrality to uphold the sanctity of the electoral process and eliminate any chances of bias or influence seeping in. That is precisely why it is imperative for both, the government and the opposition to sign off on who becomes a member of the body. While there may be too much heat between the two leaders for an in-person meeting, an indirect consultation for who to appoint for the vacant...

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