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PESHAWAR, November 25:  The Supreme Court of Pakistan has given final deadline till December 10 to the government for the appointment of the chief election commissioner (CEC).

The court has also asked the government that it will call back the acting CEC after expiry of the deadline.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Mr. Nasirul Mulk heard the case regarding appointment of the CEC in Islamabad yesterday. During the hearing, the attorney general told the court that Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Mr. Syed Khursheed Shah is out of the country for medical treatment, due to which the appointment process of the CEC could not move forward. However, the court said consultation with the opposition leader could also be carried out via telephone. The court made it clear that no further concession would be granted in the final deadline.

Recently Prime Minister Mr Nawaz Sharif and the opposition leader agreed on two retired judges, Mr Rana Bhagwandas and ex-Chief Justice Mr Tassaduq Hussain Jilani, for the coveted post of the CEC but owing to objection from the PTI both of them declined the job offer.

Under the 18th Constitutional Amendment, the appointment of the CEC is carried out after consultation between the premier and opposition leader. The post of the CEC is lying vacant for last 16 months and the Supreme Court’s serving judge Mr Anwar Zaheer Jamali is serving as acting CEC.

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