Govt Coalition Agrees To Dissolve Assemblies On August 9

Govt Coalition Agrees To Dissolve Assemblies On August 9
The ruling rainbow coalition on Friday evolved consensus to dissolve the national and provincial assemblies on August 9, just days before its constitutional term ends, Geo News reported.

This was decided during a specially called meeting by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday.

Sources aware of the developments said that the agenda for the meeting contained just three action items. Apart from the date for dissolving the assemblies, the agenda included points for deliberating on who would be included in the caretaker setup that will take over the reins of government after August 9. In particular, the government's nominations for the caretaker prime minister slot.

The last agenda item pertained to whether the next elections will be held as per the new digital census or the 2017 census.

The government coalition deliberated on and agreed to dissolve the assemblies on August 9. They stressed that elections should be held on time.

The decision on the date means that the caretaker government and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will have 90 days to conduct fresh elections. By comparison, the caretaker government and the ECP would have had 60 days to hold elections if the assemblies were allowed to complete their tenure.

However, if the Council of Common Interest (CCI), which is due to meet this week, decides to ratify the digital census conducted earlier this year, it would mean that the elections could face further delays as the poll body requires three to four months to complete delimitations once the census results are finalized and published.

READ MORE: Delay In Elections? CCI Meeting To Decide Matter This Week

Concerning the digital census, allies agreed that a consensus decision by the council will be acceptable to all.

Sources suggested that PM Shehbaz has sought names from all the allies to select the three names the government has to suggest for the caretaker prime minister slot. However, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM) has sought a little time to further deliberate on names.

However, the allies have all agreed to empower PM Shehbaz to pick the three names from those suggested by all coalition parties.

Earlier, Shehbaz had told parliamentarians at an event in their honour that the summary to dissolve the assemblies will be dispatched to President Dr Arif Alvi on August 9.