In a significant development, the National Assembly (NA) of Pakistan has been dissolved following the approval of a summary by President Dr. Arif Alvi. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recommendation for the dissolution was endorsed, marking a significant political turn. This move comes ahead of schedule and is attributed to Article 58-1 of the Constitution. The official announcement was made through the President’s Office, where a statement was released on the X platform.
Premature End of Government’s Term:
The lower chamber of Parliament was dissolved, which led to the early resignation of the current administration. Unexpectedly, the tenure of the present government, which came to office following the defeat of PTI leader and Former Prime Minister Imran Khan in a vote of no-confidence, has come to an end.
PM Sharif’s Address and Early Dissolution:
In a speech to the National Assembly that same day, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced his decision to write to President Dr. Arif Alvi to dissolve the NA. The government’s tenure has been effectively cut short before it was required to do so by this decision. Three days earlier than expected, on August 9, the anticipated dissolution occurred, triggering the need to get ready for elections to be held within the next ninety days.
Potential Delay in Elections:
Recent statements from Government Officials suggested that the forthcoming general elections would be postponed. The Council of Common Interest (CCI) unanimously approved the 2023 census, which could cause this delay. A major government official, Khawaja Asif, stated that although he expects elections to take place in November, there may be a minor delay due to technical issues. Rana Sanaullah concurred, speculating that new delineations may cause the general elections to be postponed to the third or first week of March.
Formation of Caretaker Setup:
The Government and the opposition must agree on the caretaker setup after the National Assembly is dissolved in order to maintain stability until the next general election and the installation of the newly Elected Government. The ruling coalition is currently holding discussions to settle on a title for the caretaker prime minister that will be acceptable to all parties. Ishaq Dar, Hafeez Sheikh, and Justice Shakeel Baloch are among the prominent people being considered, though the current administration has not officially confirmed this.
Emergence of Strong Candidates:
Jalil Abbas Jilani, a Former Foreign Secretary, has become a leading candidate to become the Interim Prime Minister. Jilani held meetings at the PM House, according to sources with knowledge of the circumstances, demonstrating her serious interest in the position. The appointment of the caretaker prime minister will be finalized during a meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Opposition Leader Raja Riaz on August 10.
The National Assembly’s dissolution has paved the way for important political reforms in Pakistan. The country anticipates the establishment of a Caretaker Government and preparations for the 2019 general elections as the current administration’s mandate is about to expire early.