ECP appoints media tycoon Naqvi as Punjab caretaker chief minister - GulfToday

ECP appoints media tycoon Naqvi as Punjab caretaker chief minister


Mohsin Raza Naqvi.

Tariq Butt, Correspondent

Mohsin Raza Naqvi, owner of a media house, recommended by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), was picked up as the caretaker chief minister of Punjab by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday.

The four ECP members and the chief election commissioner unanimously took this decision just an hour before the deadline set by the Constitution was to expire at 10:30pm on Sunday.

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The combine of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and the PDM had failed to reach a consensus on any name. Names of four nominees were received by the ECP and reviewed in a session attended by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja, and other members of the ECP.

Naqvi was born in Lahore and moved to the US for higher education, where he was associated with the CNN and was made the regional head when he returned to Pakistan. He also interviewed former prime minister Benazir Bhutto who had made her last call to Naqvi before her assassination.

At the age of 30, Naqvi founded a local media network (City News) in 2009 and now owns six news channels ( City42, City41, UK44, Channel 24 News, and Rohi TV) and a newspaper Daily42 Lahore.

He is also very popular in political circles and has strong relations with the leading political figures of the country. In his life, Naqvi has always taken up difficult jobs and turned them into easy ones and continued to achieve success.

The ECP's appointment comes after a parliamentary committee constituted by the Punjab Assembly speaker failed to build a consensus on a candidate for the slot of caretaker chief minister.

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As per Article 224-A of the Constitution, the parliamentary panel had three days to select one of the four nominees. However, the committee was left with only one day due to a delay in the notification for the panel formation. Both the ruling and opposition had nominated two names each.

The PTI and PML-Q had nominated Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera, a serving bureaucrat, and retired bureaucrat Naveed Akram Cheema while the PML-Nawaz had proposed Naqvi and Ahad Khan Cheema.

Outgoing Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi had announced that the PTI would not accept the persons nominated by the ECP and would not allow him to work. Naqvi is married to a daughter of Elahi’s sister.

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