ISLAMABAD: The ruling coalition has been mulling options to dissolve the National and Provincial Assemblies ahead of schedule to help gain almost three months (90 days) for electioneering.
Sources in the ruling parties have confided in Pakistan Today that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Nawaz Sharif and PPP chief Asif Zardari had agreed to dissolve the assemblies on August 8, 2023 so as elections could be pushed another one month.
Parliament’s tenure constitutionally expires on August 12.
“There is only need to take coalition partners on board the decision. Hence, the prime minister met with MQM-P delegation today. Now he would meet other partners and would take them on board including Maulana Fazlur Rehman,” a source in the government told this scribe.
The source said that actually the prime minister wanted to get as much time as possible to enable overturn the conviction of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz who plan to lead the PML-N election campaign.
“The ruling coalition wants Chief Justice Bandial to get retired so Justice Qazi Faiz Issa may overtake the reigns. The ruling coalition believes that only then they would be able to get relief from the top court,” the source said.
The ruling coalition wants to hand over the reins to a caretaker government next month four days before it is constitutionally required to do so, in preparation for a general election by November, the sources said.
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, however, said no date had been set for the general election.
“No decision has so far been taken on the dissolution of the parliament,” she said in a tweet, adding a formal announcement would be made about the election date after a consultation among all coalition partners.
The elections are approaching after months of political and economic turmoil, with uncertainty even to the extent that the vote might be delayed for at least one year.
A caretaker government has 90 days in which to hold a general election when a government hands over power early, but it would have had 60 days if the government had handed over power at the designated time.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s coalition took over after his predecessor, Imran Khan, was ousted in a contentious vote of no confidence in parliament in April of last year.
Ever since then, Khan has been campaigning for a snap election, organising protests across the country and raising tensions with the powerful military, which Khan accuses of plotting against him.