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Pakistan PM announces dissolution of National Assembly on August 9

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the National Assembly would be dissolved in a significant political development on August 9. The decision came following a meeting between Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and parliamentary leaders at a dinner hosted in their honour, during which the country’s political situation was extensively discussed.

In the meeting, the Prime Minister sought their input and discussed the arrangement for the caretaker prime minister and caretaker setup, The Express Tribune reported.

On August 9, the President will receive a formal recommendation from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to dissolve the National Assembly. The Constitution requires that the President sign the advice within 48 hours to carry out the dissolution. The Assembly shall be automatically dissolved if the President does not sign the advice.

Additionally, Prime Minister Shehbaz affirmed that he will present the name of the acting prime minister to the President after three days of consultation with the opposition. The aim is for the government and opposition to come to an understanding regarding the caretaker premier. If no agreement is achieved, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will intervene and choose a candidate from among the suggested names to serve as caretaker prime minister.

“Our conscience is satisfied that we took the country out of the vortex by sacrificing politics,” he stated, acknowledging the efforts made by the coalition government to overcome various difficulties. Notably, he highlighted the successful negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), underscoring the importance of economic stability for the nation’s progress.

Prime Minister Shehbaz committed to a caretaker arrangement acceptable to all parties. In the transitional phase leading up to the following general elections, this move is aimed to ensure transparency, fairness, and impartiality.

In July, Pakistan’s election body announced it is ready to hold national elections in October if the legislative assemblies are dissolved on time.

General elections could be held by October 11 if the national and provincial assemblies in Sindh and Balochistan are dissolved following the completion of their five-year terms on August 12, a statement said.

A five-year term is required for an elected assembly under Pakistan’s Constitution. A caretaker setup is established after its timely dissolution, and elections are held within 60 days.

Since Imran Khan’s defeat in a no-confidence vote in the parliament in April of last year, Pakistan has been experiencing political unrest. The politicians accuse the military of attempting to have him removed.