‘National Assembly to be dissolved on August 9’, PM tells coalition partners

Assurance was given by Premier Shehbaz during a dinner he hosted for his coalition partners in Islamabad

Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during the dinner with his coalition partners. — Twitter/@PTVNewsOfficial
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during the dinner with his coalition partners. — Twitter/@PTVNewsOfficial

  • PM says they will try to bring an acceptable interim premier.
  • Thanks parliamentarians in farewell dinner hosted in Islamabad. 
  • Says his government saved state during their 15 months in power. 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday told his coalition partners that the summary to dissolve the National Assembly would be moved on August 9, sources told Geo News.

The assurance was given by the premier during a dinner he hosted for his coalition partners during which the political situation of the country and general elections was discussed.

Officials, who were privy to the meeting and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the premier informed his coalition partners that he would begin consultations with Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Raja Riaz on a caretaker prime minister from today (Friday). The premier added that he is hopeful that the consultation would end within two to three days.

The current assembly’s tenure will end on August 12 and if it completes its stipulated time then elections will be held within 60 days. However, the Constitution states that the polls must be held within 90 days if the assembly is dissolved before the completion of its tenure.

If the summary is moved to dissolve the lower house of parliament on August 9 that it would be liable to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold polls within 90 days.

However, before the assembly dissolution the government and the opposition need to agree on a name for a caretaker prime minister.

Last month, PM Shehbaz constituted a five-member committee of the PML-N to hold consultations on the selection of a caretaker premier and dissolution of the National Assembly, The News had reported.

Though the provincial assemblies of Sindh and Balochistan will also be dissolved along with the National Assembly next month, the panel has no members from outside Punjab.

The committee comprising federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Ahsan Iqbal, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Khawaja Muhammad Asif, has been tasked to undertake consultations with the political parties and groups which constitute the incumbent government.

With the formation of the committee, the consultation process has gained full swing for the immediate future setup of administration in the country.

According to constitutional provisions, the PM, as leader of the House, and the leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly have to initiate consultations. Their failure could refer the matter to a parliamentary committee, which is supposed to be constituted by the NA speaker.

Meanwhile, the ECP will be the final authority to pick the caretaker prime minister if the parliamentary committee too fails in selecting a caretaker PM.

‘Saved state in 15 months’

On the other hand, in his address — which was live broadcast —PM Shehbaz said that during their 15 months in power the coalition government saved the state.

“The thorns which the PTI government had left behind we had to remove them,” he said, adding that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme was a challenge and the country was on the verge of default.

On the caretaker setup the premier said they would try to bring in a person who is acceptable to all stakeholders and added that his government would go home in the coming days.

At the same time, he also thanked all the parliamentarians for reposing trust in him and lauded National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani on how he ran the house.