Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan

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Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan
Sikandar Sultan Raja[1]
since 21 January 2020
Election Commission of Pakistan
SeatConstitution Avenue, Islamabad
NominatorPrime Minister and Leader of Opposition
AppointerPresident of Pakistan
Term length3 Years
Formation25 March 1956
First holderF.M. Khan
WebsiteElection Commission of Pakistan

The Chief Election Commissioner is the authority and the appointed chair of the Election Commission of Pakistan— an institution constitutionally empowered to conduct free and fair elections to the national and provincial legislatures.

Before 1973, appointment of the commissioner only restricted to the civil services and appointments came from the President.[2] After the promulgation of much and thoroughly reformed constitution in 1973 in shape of 18th Amendment, the constitutional provisions made mandatory and compulsory that the only appointments would come from the judicature branch's judges who were eligible to become Chief Election Commissioner, however later on an amendment to the Constitution allowed civil servants to be appointed to the post as well.[2] The Constitution (or President on different occasions) lays the appointment and oath administered by the Chief Justice of Pakistan.[3]

Appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner[edit]

The President of Pakistan appoints the Chief Election Commissioner and four members of the Election Commission of Pakistan. The Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly recommend three names for appointment of CEC and for each Member to a parliamentary committee for hearing and confirmation of any one person against each post. The parliamentary committee consisting of 12 members is constituted by the Speaker of the National Assembly comprising 50% members from treasury benches and 50% from opposition parties out of which one-third shall be from Senate, the Chief Election Commissioner has a tenure of 3 years.[4] The Chief Election Commissioner enjoys the same official status as available to Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed by the President of Pakistan or the Supreme Court of Pakistan or through impeachment in National Assembly of Pakistan. In the wake of the current Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja's decision on March 22, 2023, to postpone the provincial elections, giving reasons, despite the Supreme Court's orders to conduct them on time, may result in his impeachment. A legal case is filed by the opposition party, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), in the Supreme court requesting the current Election Commissioner's impeachment under Article 6 of the Constitution of the country and appealed to direct ECP to conduct the elections on time, as per the earlier ruling of the supreme court.

Duties and functions[edit]

Under the Constitution of Pakistan[5] Chief Election Commissioner has the following powers and duties:

  • Preparing electoral rolls for elections to the National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies and revising such rolls annually.[6]
  • To organise and conduct election to the Senate and fill casual vacancies in a House[7][8] or a Provincial Assembly.[9]
  • Appointment of Election Tribunals.[10]
  • A commissioner also hears and decides cases of disqualification of members of Parliament and Provincial Assemblies.[11] And receipt of reference from the chairman or the Speaker or Head of the political party, as the case may be.[12]
  • To hold and conduct election to the office of the President as per Second Schedule to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan[13]
  • To hold Referendum as and when ordered by the President.[14]
  • To make rules providing for the appointment of officers and servants to be employed in connection with the functions of the Chief Election Commissioner or an Election Commission and for their terms and conditions of employment. Under this power the Honorable Chief Election Commissioner framed the Election Commission (Officers & Servants) Rules, 1989[15]

List of former Chief Election Commissioners of Pakistan[edit]

The following is the list of former Chief Election Commissioners of Pakistan:[16][17]

No. Name Tenure start Tenure end Ref.
1 F.M. Khan March 1956 April 1962
2 Akhter Hussain April 1962 October 1964
3 G. Moinuddin Khan October 1964 December 1967
4 N. A. Farooq December 1967 April 1969
5 Justice Abdus Sattar April 1969 January 1971
6 Justice Wahiduddin Ahmad January 1971 October 1973
7 Justice Sajjad Ahmad Jan October 1973 July 1978
8 Justice Dorab Patel July 1978 September 1979
9 Justice Maulvi Mushtaq Hussain September 1979 May 1980
10 Justice Karam Illahi Chohan May 1980 March 1982
11 Justice S.A. Nusrat March 1982 April 1988
12 Justice Naeemuddin April 1988 July 1993
13 Justice Fakhre Alam July 1993 February 1997
14 Justice Mukhtiar Ahmad Junejo February 1997 March 1999
15 Justice A.Q. Chaudry March 1999 March 2004
16 Justice Irshad Hasan Khan March 2004 September 2007
17 Justice Q Muhammad Farooq September 2007 May 2009
18 Justice Hamid Mirza May 2009 July 1012
19 Justice Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim July 2012 December 2013 [18]
20 Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan January 2014 December 2019 [19]
21 Sikandar Sultan Raja January 2020 Incumbent [20]

Note: A very small number of chief election commissioners have enjoyed their stipulated three-year term in office. The majority has either served for a shorter term or for extended tenures which were as long as seven years.


  1. ^ "Sikandar Sultan Raja named new CEC". The Express Tribune (newspaper). January 2020.
  2. ^ a b Shah, Shabir (18 July 2012). "Fakhruddin is 17th judge to head the Election Commission". The News International. Archived from the original on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  3. ^ Khan, Iftikhar A. (17 August 2013). "Justice Tassaduq nominated as acting CEC". Dawn. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  4. ^ Constitution of Pakistan
  5. ^ Constitution of Pakistan Archived 25 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Constitution of Pakistan – Article 219-(i)
  7. ^ Senate of Pakistan
  8. ^ National Assembly of Pakistan
  9. ^ Constitution of Pakistan – Article 219-(ii)
  10. ^ Constitution of Pakistan – Article 219-(iii)
  11. ^ Constitution of Pakistan – Article 63-(ii)
  12. ^ Constitution of Pakistan – Article 63-(i)
  13. ^ Constitution of Pakistan – Article 41-(iii)
  14. ^ Constitution of Pakistan – Article 41-(vi)
  15. ^ Constitution of Pakistan – Article 221
  16. ^ "List Of Chief Election Commissioner Of Pakistan". 20 July 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  17. ^ "List of Former chief election commission Pakistan CEC ECP". Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  18. ^ "Profile: Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim". Dawn. 9 July 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  19. ^ Akbar, Ali (4 December 2014). "Justice Sardar Raza Khan named CEC". Dawn. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  20. ^ Hussain, Javed (21 January 2020). "Sikandar Sultan Raja named new Chief Election Commissioner". Dawn. Retrieved 30 January 2023.

External links[edit]