ECP advised interim PM Kakar to not include cabinet members with political affiliation

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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has advised interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar to refrain from choosing individuals with “known political allegiance” as cabinet members in order to ensure a level playing field for all political parties and candidates in the upcoming elections, The News reported Thursday.

“It is a general perception that the caretaker government is a continuation of the previous government,” wrote ECP Special Secretary Zafar Iqbal Hussain in a letter to Dr. Syed Tauqir Hussain Shah, secretary to the interim prime minister.

A recent press conference by a political party that accused the caretaker administration of continuing the previous political legacy is a sign in this direction.

The special secretary stated that it was preferred that due diligence be used to prevent picking individuals with known political allegiances as cabinet members. Additionally, to strengthen the reality of a neutral caretaker setup, this factor should be taken into consideration when choosing senior public employees for appointment to crucial positions.

He highlighted that the electoral watchdog was required by Article 218 (3) of the Constitution to organize and conduct the election as well as to make the necessary measures to ensure that it was conducted honestly, justly, fairly, and in conformity with the law.

“This provision is actually a clarion call to make sure that all political parties and contending candidates for elections are provided with a level playing field,” he wrote.