Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has announced the dissolution of the National Assembly on August 9th with the consultation of the allied parties, three days before the expiry of Parliament’s five-year term on August 12th.
PM Sharif is expected to notify President Arif Alvi about the dissolution of the National Assembly on August 9. Sharif’s announcement of dissolving the National Assembly will facilitate the general election, which is expected to take place by November.
According to ANI, Sharif had previously mentioned that the National Assembly would be dissolved before August 12 with the consultation of allied parties. During an interview on a Geo News program, Sharif stated that the assembly’s tenure will conclude on August 12 and that it would be dissolved before that date.
Sharif’s decision to dissolve the National Assembly three days early could be seen as a calculated move to give his party more time to prepare for what is expected to be a difficult electoral battle against Imran Khan’s party. By doing so, Sharif and his allies may be able to use this extra time to their advantage in order to improve their chances of winning the election.
This announcement to dissolve the National Assembly came after he met with parliamentary leaders at a dinner reception at the Prime Minister’s house in honour of the members of parliament. During the meeting, they had an in-depth discussion about the country’s political situation.
According to ANI, during the gathering, Shehbaz actively sought input from attendees and discussed the appointment of a caretaker prime minister and the caretaker setup.
Shehbaz promised to consult with the opposition for three days to finalize the appointment of the caretaker prime minister. After the consultation process, he will submit the selected candidate’s name to the President.
According to Reuters, Two members of parliament who attended a dinner hosted by Sharif on Thursday confirmed that PM informed his allies that he would seek a dissolution on August 9 and have a caretaker government organize the polls.
Constitutional Provisions for Dissolution of the National Assembly of Pakistan
According to constitutional provisions, within 48 hours, The President have to sign the advice to dissolve the National Assembly, if fail the Assembly automatically gets dissolves. The Prime Minister must finalize the appointment of the caretaker prime minister with the consultations of opposition. If they fail to reach an agreement, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will nominate a caretaker prime minister.
Also, The general elections are to held within 90 days after the dissolution of the lower house. If the National Assembly completes its tenure, elections are to be held in 60 days, but if it dissolves prematurely, this period is extended to 90 days as per the Constitutional provisions.
Upcoming Election in Pakistan
As per Dawn, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stated that the basis for the upcoming elections in Pakistan would be the 2023 digital census.
Sharif stated that the polls should be held on the basis of the new census unless there is an obstacle that cannot be overcome. Dawn also reported that the Council of Common Interest (CCI) was expected to hold a meeting to approve census results.
ANI reported, citing Dawn that Prime Minister Sharif’s statement contradicts previous assertions made by his ministers. His ministers stated that the upcoming election would be based on the 2017 census.
As per Dawn, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), one of the ruling allies in the coalition government in Pakistan, responded tersely to the decision of elections held on the basis of 2023 digital census. MQM-P claimed that Karachi’s population has been undercounted in the new census.
The elections are scheduled to proceed despite the possibility of postponement due to political and economic turmoil in the country. PM Sharif stated that any delays in elections should not be the case. Nonetheless, he also mentioned that it would be up to the election commission.