Tue, 10 Jul 2012 07:45:22 GMT

Former SC judge to be Pak''s new Chief Election Commissioner

From Rezaul H Laskar
Islamabad, Jul 10 (PTI) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, an India-born former judge of Pakistan''s Supreme Court has been appointed as the country''s new Chief Election Commissioner.

Born on February 12, 1928 in Dhrol, Gujarat, Ebrahim is believed to be follower of Mahatma Gandhi''s teachings.

He attended the Gujrat Vidyapith and received an undergraduate degree in law in 1949.

"He also studied courses based on philosophy and attended lectures given by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. It is believed that his advocacy for non-violence and peace comes from Gandhi''s teachings," the Dawn newspaper reported today.

After weeks of differences in choosing a consensus candidate, the PPP and opposition parties decided on Ebrahim as the new CEC.

The Parliamentary Committee on the Appointment of the CEC developed consensus on Ebrahim during a meeting chaired last afternoon by Religious Affairs Minister Khursheed Shah.

The post of CEC has been vacant since March 24 and the main opposition PML-N had rejected most of the candidates proposed by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

Shah told the media that Ebrahim was an "experienced and impartial person".

In a statement, President Asif Ali Zardari said the members of the committee had shown maturity and wisdom "at this critical time when the appointment of consensus Chief Election Commissioner was of absolute importance for free and fair elections as a necessary requirement for political stability".

Ebrahim will now oversee the Election Commission''s preparations for the general election scheduled for March-April next year.

However, opposition parties have been demanding that the polls be advanced and commentators have said allegations of corruption and poor governance could force the government to hold the election later this year.

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