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Pak: Qadri approaches SC, seeks restructuring of EC

February 07, 2013 14:11 IST

Fiery cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, who recently led a protest against the Pakistan government to push for electoral reforms, on Thursday approached the supreme court to seek the restructuring of the election commission.

Talking to reporters after filing a petition on the issue, Qadri said his stance was based on constitutional provisions, which stated that the EC could be reconstituted.

According to the Constitution, he said, the poll panel would consist of five members, and the names of 15 candidates should be presented before parliament for appointing these members.

The parliament would have to hear all 15 candidates, he contended.

The Constitution makes it mandatory to hold a parliamentary hearing before the appointment of members, he claimed. 

Qadri, who heads the Pakistan Awami Tehrik party, has claimed in recent interviews that the members of the EC representing the four provinces were not appointed in an impartial manner.

The cleric recently led thousands of his supporters in a sit-in protest outside parliament.

The demonstration ended when Qadri and the government signed a deal that said his demands for electoral reforms would be considered.

In a surprising development, Pakistan Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi too has demanded the reconstitution of the poll panel.

The senior PML-Q leader, an ally of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, said he had full confidence in Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ebrahim but called for the other members to be changed.

Elahi claimed his party was the first to demand the restructuring of the EC and now other parties had agreed on the move.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad