New round of controversy as PTI rejects ECP selection of caretaker Punjab CM

Soon after the appointment of Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi — a nominee of the opposition — as interim chief minister for Punjab by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday categorically rejected the decision, declaring “Naqvi” as “controversial” personality.

The electoral authority’s decision comes after the failure of the government and the opposition to reach a consensus on the caretaker chief executive, the move appeared to kick off a new round of controversy in the country.

In a declaration, the ECP said that the meeting, chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, made the consensus decision to appoint Naqvi as the caretaker for Punjab CM.

ECP members Nisar Ahmad Durrani, Shah Mohammad Jatoi, Babar Hassan Bharwana and Justice (retd) Ikramullah Khan were among the attendees of the meeting.

Meanwhile, the ECP issued a notification in this regard and penned to the provincial governor about administering the oath to Naqvi.

Following the no consensus, the matter was sent to the electoral body under Clause 3 of Article 224-A of the Constitution.

ECP Secretary Umar Hameed Khan, Special Secretary Zafar Iqbal Hussain, director generals and additional DGs of the relevant departments were among the 15 attendees of the special meeting of the electoral watchdog.

Khan and Iqbal briefed the meeting on the matter. The huddle decided the matter after considering all legal and constitutional aspects, the sources privy to the development said.

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