Pakistan premier writes to president to dissolve parliament

Pakistan premier writes to president to dissolve parliament

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif sends advice to President Arif Alvi; lower house would have completed tenure on Aug. 12

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) - Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday formally recommended President Arif Alvi to dissolve the National Assembly, paving the way for a caretaker setup that will hold general elections, official sources told Anadolu.

The president will have 48 hours to comply with the advice, or else the lower house will stand dissolved automatically.

Sharif had earlier announced that the coalition government will bow out on Wednesday, three days before the end of the assembly's five-year term.

Sharif is expected to continue as acting prime minister until the caretaker premier takes an oath.

The prime minister and the opposition leader are expected to meet on Thursday to finalize the name of the caretaker prime minister, who will serve until the polls that are due later this year.

Elections are to be held within 90 days of the dissolution, however, in the given circumstances, especially after approval of fresh census results announced last month, on-time polls seem unlikely.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the country's top electoral body, requires at least four months for new delimitations in line with the latest census results, which could push the election date to next year.

Sensing a possible delay, the Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution urging the country's top electoral body to hold general elections within the stipulated time given in the Constitution.

Presented by Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, the resolution also asked all the state institutions to assist, in every possible manner, the ECP in holding polls.

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