Islamabad, 4 Aug, 2023 (GNP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced on Thursday, during a dinner with members of his ruling coalition, that Pakistan’s National Assembly will be dissolved on 9 August, three days before the completion of the five-year parliamentary term. This sets the stage for the upcoming general elections, which are likely to take place later this year.
Under Pakistan’s constitution, if the assembly is dissolved at its designated time, which is 12 August, the elections will be held within 60 days. However, if the dissolution occurs even one day earlier, the election period is extended to 90 days.
If the assembly is dissolved on 9 August, as announced by Prime Minister Sharif, the elections will be held in November under the supervision of a caretaker government, as mandated by the constitution.
The names of the caretaker prime minister and other top functionaries are expected to be announced over the weekend.
During a televised address after the dinner with political allies, Prime Minister Sharif acknowledged the challenges his coalition government faced upon coming to power. He asserted that despite these difficulties, his government’s conscience is clear, and they successfully navigated the country through challenging times.
However, Sharif’s government has faced criticism for allegedly targeting his main political opponent, former Prime Minister Imran Khan, and his Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party through various cases and a crackdown. Khan has claimed that these cases are aimed at preventing him from contesting the upcoming elections, where PTI is expected to emerge as the largest party.
Pakistan is also grappling with a resurgence of violence, with more than 90 attacks by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) armed group reported in July alone. The country’s economy is also facing challenges, including record inflation and a declining rupee, despite securing a financial bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in June.
As the dissolution of the National Assembly approaches, the nation awaits the general elections, which will play a crucial role in shaping Pakistan’s political landscape and future direction.