By Swair Akram —
Muhammad Sikander Sultan Raja took oath as the new chief election commissioner (CEC) on Monday. Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed administered the oath at principal seat Supreme Court Islamabad.
Raja is the consensus candidate of the government and opposition. There had been a parliamentary deadlock over the nomination that had dragged on for months. It was resolved last with Raja’s nomination for the critical constitutional post with consensus approval of the parliamentary committee on January 21,2020.
President Arif Alvi appointed Raja On january 24 for a tenure of five years and also appointed two members to the ECP. A notification by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs declared the appointments have been made under Article 213 and 215 of the Constitution.
The slot was vacant since December 6 when Justice (retd) Sardar Raza completed his tenure. The appointments of two members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had also been pending for a year. Leadership vacuum was feared to leave the ECP rudderless and thus affecting its functioning.
Muhammad Sikander Sultan Raja is a former civil servant. He retired from the bureaucracy in Grade 22. He had served as Secretary Railways and Petroleum and as chief secretary of both Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
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