Battle lines drawn: G-B CM, governor face-off over CEC appointment
Gilgi, September 12: The Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) governor and chief minister (CM) have locked horns over the appointment of the chief election commissioner (CEC) for the region.
According to a statement issued by the information department on Thursday, Chief Minister Mehdi Shah chaired a cabinet meeting on Wednesday evening where he rejected a proposal allegedly forwarded by Governor Pir Karam Ali to the federal government to appoint a CEC for the region. The governor did not take under consideration the names of local candidates who would have been suitable for the position, the statement revealed. “The summary sent by the governor…should have [had] the names of local people at least,” stated the press release.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Secretary General Aftab Haider said the chief minister will lodge a complaint against the governor with the prime minister for flouting the rules and sending a proposal to the Centre without consulting the regional government.
Earlier, Pir Karam Ali spoke to journalists and denied sending a proposal to the federal government. He added the CM and the ministers have turned against him.
“I am only tolerating this to ensure the survival of the system. But all government departments are marred by corruption.” he said.
Ali said the allegations levelled against him for not consulting the government have no legal basis. Under the self-governance order, a governor is not required to consult the regional government over these matters, he added.
“It is the duty of the government to first develop consensus in its ranks and then inform me about it. My job is to forward it to authorities concerned at the federal government.”
However, the governor complained the chief minister, cabinet members and secretaries have repeatedly flouted his orders and do not turn up when he summons official meetings at the governor’s office. “We have to serve notices to them just to compel them to attend,” he said.
Ali said he had asked the CM to reduce the size of cabinet and reshuffle positions. However, Shah has not paid attention to his request.
“Unfortunately we don’t have the right people in the assembly this time around. I would strongly advise the electorate to not to elect such ministers in the next elections.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2014.
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