pakistan
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
By
Web Desk

CM Khan signs summary to dissolve KP Assembly

By
Web Desk
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. — Twitter/@PTIofficial
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. — Twitter/@PTIofficial

  • KP Assembly will stand dissolved in next 48 hours even if governor does not approve it.
  • Development comes days after Chief Minister Parvez Elahi dissolved Punjab Assembly.
  • CM Mahmood says decision to dissolve assembly taken in the wider interest of Pakistan.


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan advised Governor Haji Ghulam Ali on Tuesday to dissolve the provincial assembly, fulfilling the promise to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and paving the way for fresh elections.

The development came days after Chief Minister Parvez Elahi dissolved Punjab Assembly after Governor Baligh Ur Rehman refrained from signing the summary sent to him.

"I, Mahmood Khan, Chief Minister, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in pursuance of provisions of Article 112(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, do hereby forward my advice for dissolution of Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on 17th January, 2023 as 2100," the advice signed by the CM read.

The chief minister said that the decision to dissolve the assembly had been taken in the wider interest of Pakistan.

'PTI to return to power with two-thrid majority'

In a video statement, the KP chief executive said: “I promised Imran Khan that I would sign the summary for the dissolution of the provincial assembly by 10pm and I did.”

He added, “We have done whatever we could for our people. Now, the assembly will be dissolved and elections will be held within 90 days.”

The PTI would return to power with a two-third majority not only in the province but across the country, he added.

CM Mahmood’s advice for the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly is now pending with Governor Ali.

However, the assembly will stand dissolved in the next 48 hours as per the Constitution even if the governor does not approve it. 

The PTI chairman had announced the dissolution of the assemblies — Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab — in November last year. However, the plans were delayed due to consultations with allies and countermeasures adopted by the ruling allies in the centre.

Hours before the dissolution of the KP Assembly, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Tuesday finally accepted the resignations of 35 members of the lower house of parliament — 34 belonging to the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as well as Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid.

Asad Qaiser, Qasim Suri, Pervez Khattak, Ali Amin Gandapur, Murad Saeed, Shehryar Khan Afridi, and Imran Khattak are among the lawmakers whose resignations have been accepted.

How is the interim CM appointed?

Once the provincial assembly is dissolved, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will require a caretaker setup, irrespective of whether or not Governor Haji Ghulam Ali approves the summary undersigned by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.

CM Khan’s advice for the dissolution of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly is now pending with Governor Ali.

However, the assembly will stand dissolved in the next 48 hours as per the Constitution even if the governor does not approve it.

One may assume that CM Khan will have to leave his post at once after the dissolution of the assembly — or hold it till the elections like other countries — but this is not the case.

Contrary to the practice in other countries, the Constitution of Pakistan stipulates that a caretaker government will have to be sworn in till a new government is elected by the people.

Article 224 of the Constitution explains the process of appointment of a caretaker government at the centre and provinces.

Since the polls are being held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, we shall consider only officials at the provincial level in the caretaker government.

Until the formation of a caretaker government, Mahmood will continue his duties as the CM albeit for a few days.

It is only the incumbent Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly speaker, out of all elected representatives, who will hold his position until the newly-elected lawmakers take an oath and elect his replacement.

For the formation of a caretaker government, CM Mehmood will write to the leader of the opposition in the KP Assembly, within 48 hours of the dissolution of the assembly, seeking three names for the caretaker chief minister and will suggest three names himself.

If an impasse, between the two leaders, lasts for three days, then the speaker will form a committee comprising six members of the outgoing assembly with equal representation from the treasury and the opposition.

To the committee, the CM and the leader of the opposition will forward two nominees each.

The committee then will have three days to evolve consensus on one name. If that fails as well then the names of the nominees will be referred to the Election Commission of Pakistan for a final decision within two days.

The selected nominee will perform his/her duties as the interim CM until the formation of a new government in the province. The interim CM also has the power to induct his own cabinet.

Following the placement of a caretaker chief minister, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is bound to carry out general elections in the province within 90 days.

The electoral body can hold polls within 22 to 45 days because constitutionally it requires at least 22 days to scrutinise the nomination papers of the candidates.

The candidates will be given 29 to 30 days to run the election campaign.