Govt to hand over power to caretaker setup before completion of its tenure next month: Pakistan PM Shehbaz

Published - July 17, 2023 05:19 am IST - Lahore

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday announced that his government would hand over the power to a caretaker setup before the completion of its tenure next month, indicating the National Assembly is going to be dissolved days before the completion of its tenure to pace the general election in November.

Just a couple of days ago the premier had announced that his government would complete its tenure which is ending on August 13.

However, Mr. Shehbaz’s change of mind appears to be an advice from his allied Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader Asif Ali Zardari.

"Zardari in a meeting with PM Shehbaz on Saturday asked him to dissolve the National Assembly a couple of days before the government completes its tenure so that elections can be held in November," a senior PPP leader told PTI on Sunday.

Under the Constitution, if the National Assembly completes its term, polls are to be held within 60 days. But if the assembly is dissolved prematurely, even if by a day, it would give the government 90 days to conduct elections.

The five-year term of the National Assembly commenced under the then-Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government of Imran Khan on August 12, 2018 and is set to be completed under the ruling coalition led by Shehbaz.

Addressing a laptop distribution ceremony in Sialkot, Shehbaz said: “Our government will complete its term next month. We will hopefully go before the tenure’s completion and the new interim government will take over.” He further said if his party (PML-N) wins the upcoming general elections, it will change the destiny of the country.

Shehbaz recently said that his government’s tenure would come to an end next month and the Election Commission of Pakistan would give the date for elections.

This has been interpreted in many ways, with some political experts suggesting that the mainstream parties and the establishment were not on the ‘same page’ with regard to the date of polls.

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