Pakistan President dissolves NA on the advice of PM under Article 58-1

ISLAMABAD: President Dr. Arif Alvi has approved the early dissolution of the National Assembly shortly after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif submitted the proposal.

An official statement released by the President’s Office on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) late Wednesday announced, “The President has dissolved the National Assembly based on the advice of the Prime Minister as stipulated in Article 58-1 of the Constitution.” This dissolution of the lower house of parliament also led to the dissolution of the federal cabinet.

Earlier, Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi confirmed this move, affirming that the elected government has completed its full 5-year constitutional term.

“The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has sent the government dissolution proposal to the Prime Minister,” the minister added.

The proposal included a request for the establishment of an interim government as outlined in Article 224 of the Constitution.

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs will issue an official notification regarding the approval of the proposal and the formation of the caretaker government, Abbasi further stated.

Formation of the Caretaker Government:
Following the dissolution of the National Assembly, the process to select a caretaker Prime Minister will commence under Article 224-A of the Constitution.

Prime Minister Shehbaz and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Raja Riaz, will engage in discussions to finalize the interim Prime Minister’s name.

Should they fail to reach an agreement within three days, the matter will be referred to the parliamentary committee responsible for appointing the caretaker Prime Minister.

According to the law, the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader will each propose a name for the esteemed position to the parliamentary committee.

The committee must decide on the caretaker Prime Minister within three days. If consensus cannot be achieved, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will select the caretaker Prime Minister within two days from the names put forth by both the opposition and the government.

As per Article 224-1, the electoral body will then announce the election date. If the assembly is dissolved prior to completing its full term, general elections must be conducted within 90 days.

The ECP is obligated to officially declare the election results within 14 days of the general elections, following the Constitution.

However, the general elections are likely to be delayed in the country due to new census results approved by the Council of Common Interests (CCI). These results necessitate the ECP to undertake fresh delimitation, an undertaking anticipated to span three to four months.

On Wednesday, during his address to the lower house, Prime Minister Shehbaz stated that he plans to meet Leader of the Opposition Raja Riaz on Thursday to discuss potential caretaker Prime Minister candidates.

Insiders shared that the long-awaited meeting between the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader was initially scheduled for Wednesday but was postponed due to Raja Riaz’s busy schedule, preventing him from meeting with the Prime Minister on that day.

Riaz denied any deadlock between himself and the Prime Minister when asked earlier. He asserted, “There is still a three-day window during which consultations will occur.” He emphasized his commitment to reaching an agreement on a single interim Prime Minister candidate with Premier Shehbaz. “We will do everything possible to finalize the interim PM’s name in collaboration with the Prime Minister,” Riaz stated confidently.

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