Coalition parties oppose delaying general elections

Zardari wants well-known politician to be chosen as caretaker PM

PM Shehbaz Sharif asked to decide name of caretaker PM in consultation with opposition leader n Council of Common Interests meets today to discuss issue of results of population census.


ISLAMABAD   -  The leaders of coalition parties Friday empowered Prime Min­ister Shehbaz Sharif to appoint caretaker Prime Minister. This decision was taken during meet­ing of the Pakistan Democrat­ic Movement chaired by Prime Minister first time in the virtual format. Official sources said that during the meeting the name of the caretaker prime minister, the results of the new popula­tion census, local government elections and the date for the dissolution of assemblies came under discussion. 

Sources said that PDM lead­ers agreed that general elec­tions should be held in time and should not be delayed with­out any reason. However, it was agreed among all leaders and prime minister that the issue of results of the population census would be placed before council of common interest. The meet­ing decided to defer the issue of local government elections to the caretaker government. 

The meeting decided that the prime minister may final­ise the name of the caretaker prime minister in consultation with the opposition in the Par­liament. Sources said from Ba­lochistan Justice retired Shakeel Baloch's name was recommend­ed as caretaker prime minister. Former governor Sindh Dr Ish­ratul Ibad's name was also pro­posed as caretaker PM. Howev­er, MQM Pakistan didn't support him and sought more time from prime minister on the name of the care taker PM. Speak­ing in the meeting Prime Min­ister Shehbaz asked allied par­ties leaders to furnish him the names of the caretaker gov­ernment by Friday night. Mohsin Dawar MNA also sug­gested two names as care taker prime minister. On the other hand, PML-N consulta­tive committee has finalized its 5 names for the caretaker prime minister and has sent it to Nawaz Shareef in Lon­don for approval. 

Pakistan Peoples Party committee has also finalised the names and send it to the prime minister. PPP senior Leader Qamaruz Zaman Kaira met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and conveyed him the message of Asif Ali Zardari. 

Meanwhile Prime Minis­ter Shehbaz shareef con­vened the meeting of coun­cil of common interest today at the PM office. On the other hand the date of the farewell group photo of the members of the National Assembly has been changed from 8th Au­gust to 9th August. Sources said soon after the last fare­well photograph of the mem­bers of the national Assem­bly the summary to dissolve the National assembly would be sent to the president and president is expected to ac­cord his consent on the sum­mary on 11th of August.

Pakistan People’s Party leader and former president Asif Ali Zardari has opposed a technocrat as a caretak­er Prime Minister and is in­sisting for a political per­son for the interim top slot. PPP sources told The Nation that while the political par­ties were discussing dozens of names, Zardari was push­ing for nominating some well known political personality to oversee the general elec­tions. “No name is final yet but the list includes techno­crat people, politicians, for­mer officials and former members of judiciary,” said a PPP leader. He added: “At this point, Zardari wants the list to be shortlisted to politi­cians only. He is not backing any special person right now. Zardari also wants polls on time.” The outgoing Nation­al Assembly has approved legislation giving addition­al powers to caretaker gov­ernments, enabling them to make crucial decisions and engage with international institutions before upcom­ing general elections. The move followed amendments introduced by Prime Min­ister Shehbaz Sharif’s gov­ernment to the Election Act, which raised concerns from the PPP. However, the gov­ernment managed to address the concerns and pass the legislation with the support of its allies. The legislation al­lows caretaker governments to address urgent matters, in­cluding existing projects with international institutions like the World Bank and the In­ternational Monetary Fund (IMF). Meanwhile, consulta­tions are ongoing to finalise the caretaker prime minister appointment and other mat­ters related to the govern­ment’s term nearing its end.

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