Pakistani President Arif Alvi dissolved the National Assembly on Wednesday on the advice of outgoing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, marking the end of the current government’s term and paving the way for the upcoming general elections.
The notification of the dissolution of the assembly was issued by Iwan al-Sadr, in which it was stated that the National Assembly had been dissolved under Article 58 of the constitution.
On Wednesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif wrote to President Alvi, requesting the dissolution of the National Assembly three days before the expiry of its five-year constitutional term.
Dawn newspaper reported that President Arif Alvi dissolved the National Assembly at midnight on Wednesday on the advice of outgoing Prime Minister Sharif.
With the dissolution of the House of Representatives, the mandate of the current government will end prematurely.
Later, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Murtaza Javed Abbasi said in a statement that “the elected government has completed its five-year term,” and his ministry submitted a summary of the dissolution of the assembly to the prime minister under Article 58 of the constitution.
Earlier on Thursday, the Prime Minister also presided over the latest meeting of the Federal Cabinet in Islamabad.
Sharif said in his farewell speech before the National Assembly on Wednesday: “Tonight, with the permission of the House of Representatives, I will send advice to the President of the Republic regarding the dissolution of the National Assembly.” The coalition government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz would have liked to stay in power for a few more days and dissolve parliament on August 11, but believes President Alvi, the former leader of imprisoned ex-Prime Minister Imran. Khan Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party may refuse to immediately issue notice of its dissolution.
Prime Minister Sharif’s advice on dissolution was sent to President Alvi three days before the expiry of the term of the Lower House of Parliament. President Alavi could have postponed it for 48 hours and after that it could have been resolved.
Since the Assembly was dissolved ahead of schedule, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will hold elections within 90 days. If the National Assembly had ended its constitutional term, the elections would have taken place within 60 days, but in the event of the dissolution before its due date, the elections should have been held within 90 days.
Polling operations are expected to be delayed by two months as new census results are approved, making it a constitutional obligation to implement demarcation before the election.
The ECP is obliged to implement the delimitation within 120 days and then announce the election schedule.
Although it is technically possible to speed up the process and determine the delimitation of constituency boundaries in the minimum amount of time and then move to elections within 90 days, it is not clear whether the ECP will follow the deadline since there is good reason for the deadline being exceeded.
“On completion of the mandate of the current government, I will send a brief to the President of Pakistan to dissolve the National Assembly by Wednesday (and then a caretaker government will take power,” Prime Minister Sharif said on Tuesday in a ceremony.
The outgoing Assembly was the 15th National Assembly that began its five-year journey on August 13, 2018, with the election of a President and Vice-President. The council was elected after an election held on July 25, 2018.
After the dissolution of the National Assembly, the process of appointing a transitional Prime Minister will begin under Article 224-A of the Constitution.
Prime Minister Sharif and opposition leader in the National Assembly Raja Riad are holding consultations to finalize the name of the interim prime minister.
If they fail to agree on a name within three days, the matter will be referred to the parliamentary committee to appoint a caretaker prime minister.
By law, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition will send their respective names for the desired position to the Parliamentary Committee.
The parliamentary committee will have to finalize the name of the interim PM within three days or if it also fails to reach consensus on the name, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will select the interim PM within two days from the names proposed by the opposition and the government.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the core committee of the PDM decided to mark the day, as the term of office of the PDM government ends tonight.
PTI has decided to bring before the nation a detailed analysis of the “devastation” caused by the incompetent PDM-led government, the statement read.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by the NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)
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