Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has informed his PDM partners that the proposal to dissolve the National Assembly would be submitted on August 9, as per sources from Geo News.
During a dinner he hosted for his coalition partners, the Prime Minister discussed the political situation of the country and the upcoming general elections.
Privy to the meeting, officials shared that the Prime Minister assured his coalition partners that he would start consultations with Opposition Leader Raja Riaz on selecting a caretaker prime minister, commencing from Friday. He expressed hope that these consultations would conclude within two to three days.
The current assembly’s term is scheduled to end on August 12. Should it complete its designated time, elections will be held within 60 days. However, if the assembly is dissolved before its tenure’s completion, the Constitution requires elections to be conducted within 90 days.
If the proposal to dissolve the lower house of parliament is moved on August 9, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would be responsible for holding elections within the specified 90-day period.
Prior to the assembly dissolution, the government and the opposition must agree on a candidate for the caretaker prime minister.
Last month, PM Shehbaz established a five-member committee of the PML-N to conduct consultations on selecting a caretaker premier and dissolving the National Assembly, as reported by The News.
Although the provincial assemblies of Sindh and Balochistan will also be dissolved along with the National Assembly, the committee comprises only members from Punjab.
This committee, consisting of federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Ahsan Iqbal, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and Khawaja Muhammad Asif, is tasked with engaging in consultations with the political parties and groups forming the incumbent government.
With the committee’s formation, the consultation process is in full swing for the future administration setup in the country.
According to constitutional provisions, the Prime Minister, as the leader of the House, and the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly are responsible for initiating consultations. If they fail to reach an agreement, the matter may be referred to a parliamentary committee, to be formed by the NA speaker.
In case the parliamentary committee also fails to select a caretaker PM, the ECP will be the ultimate authority to make the decision.
During his live broadcast address, PM Shehbaz stated that the coalition government had saved the state during its 15 months in power. He acknowledged the challenge posed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program and the country’s precarious financial situation.
Regarding the caretaker setup, the Prime Minister emphasized their efforts to choose a candidate acceptable to all stakeholders and mentioned that his government would soon step down.
He also expressed gratitude to all parliamentarians for their trust in him and praised National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani for their management of the house.