Following the final round of consultations between outgoing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly (NA) Raja Riaz, Senator Anwarul Haq Kakar was chosen as interim Prime Minister on Saturday.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the last consultation session between Shehbaz and Riaz was fruitful, and the two agreed on Kakar’s name.
“The prime minister and the leader of the opposition signed the advice jointly, and it was sent to the president,” the PMO said.
Anwarul Haq New Interim Prime Minister
Shehbaz also appreciated Riaz for his assistance during the consultation process and for his outstanding leadership of the opposition over the past 16 months.
Former information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb also verified Kakar’s appointment as caretaker premier.
Shehbaz told journalists in Islamabad a day earlier that the Constitution of Pakistan permits the caretaker PM eight days after the dissolution of assembly.
On the proposal of the incumbent prime minister, President Arif Alvi dissolved the National Assembly on August 9, laying the way for general elections no later than November 9.
The Constitution mandates that elections be held within 90 days of the assembly’s dissolution before the conclusion of its five-year term.
With the dissolution of the legislature, the government is preparing for a general election, despite having obtained an International Monetary Fund (IMF) credit program.
However, former federal ministers from Shehbaz’s cabinet have fueled speculation that the general elections may be postponed following the notification of census 2023 approval. As the Election Commission of Pakistan may take up to 120 days to finalize new delimitations.
The National Assembly was supposed to finish its term on August 12, but the prime minister used his powers under Article 58(1) to dissolve it three days early.
On August 11, President Alvi wrote to Prime Minister Shehbaz and Opposition Leader Raja Riaz, seeking their nominees for the role of interim premier amid widespread speculation.
Consultations with the caretaker’s PM
According to the letter, the president designates the caretaker prime minister with the advise of the prime minister and the opposition leader under Article 224(1)A of the Constitution.
According to the Constitution, the prime minister and the opposition leader must offer the name of the caretaker premier within three days of the National Assembly’s dissolution, which occurred on August 9, Alvi reminded.
He stated that he dissolved the National Assembly on the advice of Shehbaz on August 9.
Now, he continued, the prime minister and the opposition leader should provide the name of a suitable caretaker premier within the time frame specified in the Constitution.
Shehbaz and Riaz have been talking since August 9.
According to a news release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) earlier this week, the premier invited the leader of the opposition for consultation in accordance with constitutional rules.
.When challenged about the president’s letter, Shehbaz remained evasive, insisting that the Constitution is extremely explicit on the procedure for appointing an interim Prime Minister.
If the outgoing premier and the leader of the opposition cannot agree on a single nominee for interim prime minister, the legislation allows them to each submit two names to a parliamentary committee.
If the committee is unable to finalize a candidate, the Election Commission of Pakistan will have two days to choose a name from the list of candidates provided by the committee.
The Prime Minister reiterated to media in Islamabad on Saturday that the name is expected to be disclosed today (August 12).
He stated that he will meet with representatives of the political parties affiliated with the Pakistan Democratic Movement, as well as Riaz, before making a final decision.
Shehbaz commented on his government’s tenure, saying that the last 16 months had been the most difficult of his 38-year political career. He was able to achieve success on multiple fronts by engaging with all stakeholders, he said.