UPDATE - Pakistan president dissolves parliament on advice of prime minister

UPDATE - Pakistan president dissolves parliament on advice of prime minister

Dissolution paves way for caretaker setup that will hold general elections

UPDATES WITH PRESIDENT 'S NOD TO DISSOLVE PARLIAMENT; REVISES HEADLINE, DECK, LEDE

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) - Pakistan's President Arif Alvi on Wednesday dissolved the country’s parliament on the advice of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the President's Office said.

Alvi signed the advice half an hour after it was sent by Sharif on late Wednesday night, paving the way for a caretaker setup that will hold general elections.

The federal Cabinet automatically stood dissolved following the signing of the summary.

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 will continue to serve 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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