Pakistan's 15th National Assembly Dissolved

Pakistan's 15th National Assembly Dissolved
President Dr Arif Alvi, late on Wednesday, approved a summary sent by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to dissolve the 15th National Assembly of Pakistan.

The president's approval means that the assembly has been dissolved four days before its natural term expires. The assembly's natural term would have expired on August 13.

Now, a caretaker set-up will now take over until elections are held. The Constitution stipulates that since the national assembly has been dissolved early, the caretaker set up and the Election Commission of Pakistan will have 90 days to hold elections.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who is the leader of the house, will now hold consultations with Leader of the Opposition Raja Riaz Ahmad. Both sides will present three names for the caretaker prime minister and will have three days to deliberate on the names and agree on one name.

Should they fail to do that, the matter will be referred to a bipartisan group of parliamentarians to decide on a name.

READ MORE: Consultations With PM On Interim Setup After Assembly Dissolution, Says Raja Riaz Ahmad

While there were no reports of the the names which have been included on lists of either the leader of the house or the opposition, rumours were rife that former finance minister Hafeez Sheikh could be one of the candidates while on Wednesday, many were strongly of the opinion that former foreign secretary and career diplomat Jalil Abbas Jillani was in the race.

Delay in polls

It is feared that the polls will be held beyond the 90-day Constitutional period, given that the Council of Common Interest ratified the population census just days before the end of the assembly's term. As a result, legal experts fear and outgoing government's ministers have stated that it could push elections past the stipulated 90-day period to hold elections given that an exercise to delimitation constituencies will have to be undertaken afresh in line with the results of the new census.

Sindh is not going to follow the centre in dissolving the provincial assembly on August 9.

Sindh had communicated to the federal government earlier that it would dissolve the provincial assembly after holding a farewell session on Friday, August 11.