Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday announced the dissolution of the National Assembly on August 9. The decision came after he met with parliamentary leaders at a dinner in honour of the members of parliament, where the country’s political situation was thoroughly discussed, The Express Tribune reported. During the meeting, Prime Minister Shehbaz sought their input and discussed the arrangements for the caretaker prime minister and the caretaker setup.
On August 9, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will send formal advice to the President for the dissolution of the National Assembly. According to constitutional provisions, the President must sign the advice within 48 hours to effectuate the dissolution. If, for any reason, the President does not sign the advice, the Assembly will be automatically dissolved, The Express Tribune reported.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Shehbaz assured that after three days of consultation with the opposition, he will submit the name of the caretaker prime minister to the President. However, if no agreement is reached, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will step in and nominate a candidate for the caretaker prime minister position from the proposed names, The Express Tribune reported.
Notably, he highlighted the successful negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), underscoring the importance of economic stability for the nation’s progress. Earlier this week, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that the upcoming elections in Pakistan would be held on the basis of the 2023 digital census, Dawn reported.
The premier, whose government is expected to hand over the country’s reins to a caretaker setup this August, shared this during a recorded interview on the Aaj News show ‘Faisla Aap Ka’, which was aired on Tuesday.
“We have to hold the elections on the basis of the new census … When a census has been conducted, the [polls] should be held on its basis unless there is an obstacle that cannot be overcome. But I don’t see [any such hurdle],” Dawn quoted Sharif as saying.
He added that a meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) — the body that approves census results — was expected.
Sharif further said the census results would be referred to the CCI as soon as they were finalised. Notably, PM Sharif’s statement is a deviation from that of his ministers’ previous assertions, who said that the upcoming election would be held on the basis of the 2017 census, Dawn reported.
When asked about the possibility of any delays in elections, he said that this should not be the case, however, adding that “the ball will be in the election commission’s court”.
This decision, however, prompted a terse response from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), one of the ruling allies in the coalition government in Pakistan that maintains Karachi’s population has been undercounted in the new census, as per Dawn.
Last week, PM Sharif held a meeting with its leaders in Karachi, in an apparent bid to appease the party, where he assured them that any decision on the matter would be made after consultation with all coalition partners, Dawn reported. Earlier, PM Sharif had said that the National Assembly will be dissolved before August 12 with the consultation of the allied parties.
In an interview at a Geo News programme, he said the tenure of the National Assembly will end on August 12 and before that, the assembly will be dissolved.
Sharif further said the decision about the caretaker PM will be taken in consultation with the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and before that he would consult all the allied parties and Pakistan Muslim League(N) Quaid Nawaz Sharif.
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