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HomeTop News15th National Assembly is dissolved: What comes next?

15th National Assembly is dissolved: What comes next?

The recent dissolution of the 15th National Assembly, approved by President Arif Alvi upon receiving a summary from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, has left many curious about the upcoming steps in the political landscape of the country. The focus now shifts to the appointment of an interim head of the government to oversee the caretaker setup until the next elections. This crucial decision-making process is guided by constitutional provisions and involves several stages.

Following the dissolution of the assembly, the next step involves selecting a caretaker premier, as mandated by Article 224A of the Constitution. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Raja Riaz Ahmed, are set to engage in consultations to determine a suitable candidate for the interim prime ministerial role. These consultations are set to officially commence on Thursday.

It is important to note that there is a strict three-day deadline for the appointment of a caretaker premier after the assembly’s dissolution. If a consensus is not reached within this timeframe, the matter is referred to the parliamentary committee. According to the law, both the prime minister and the opposition leader are required to submit their respective nominations for the coveted position to the parliamentary committee.

Should the parliamentary committee also face difficulties in reaching a decision, the responsibility falls on the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to finalize a candidate within the subsequent two days. The ECP, in addition to selecting the interim prime minister, is tasked with announcing a date for the elections in accordance with Article 224-1, and officially notifying the election results within 14 days after the successful conclusion of the polls, as mandated by the Constitution.

However, the timing of the elections is subject to the completion of the fresh delimitation of constituencies. Notably, if the dissolution of the government occurs prematurely, the ECP is bound to hold general elections within 90 days, which extends from the typical 60-day period if the legislative term completes naturally. The recent approval of the census 2023 by the Council of Common Interest (CCI) requires the ECP to carry out new delimitations, a process that could potentially take several months.

As discussions unfold, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah remarked on Monday that there is a possibility of delaying the general elections until March of the following year. This speculation arises from the need to accommodate the time-consuming delimitation process, ensuring that the elections are conducted on a fair and equal basis for all constituencies.

Read more: National Assembly Approves Institute of Health and Professional Studies Bill 2023

The dissolution of the 15th National Assembly has set the stage for a series of significant decisions in the political sphere of the nation. The appointment of an interim head of government, subsequent election date determination, and the completion of delimitation processes are vital steps that will pave the way for the next phase of governance in the country. As the consultations unfold and the election timeline takes shape, the citizens of Pakistan await the outcome that will define the future trajectory of their nation’s leadership.

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