Imran Khan will continue to be the prime minister of Pakistan until a caretaker premier is appointed to replace him, the president said on Monday and wrote a letter to Khan and the Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing NA Shehbaz Sharif to propose names of suitable persons for appointment as caretaker premier under Article 224-A(1) of the Constitution.
Khan faced a no-confidence vote on Sunday, but the deputy speaker of parliament ruled that it was part of a foreign conspiracy and therefore “unconstitutional.” The president then dissolved the National Assembly (NA) on the advice of the prime minister so new elections could be held.
President writes a letter to Khan and Shehbaz
The letter stated that the NA and the federal cabinet had been dissolved under Article 58(1) of the Constitution on Sunday. The president said that Khan would continue to hold office until the caretaker premier’s appointment is made under Article 224-A(4) of the Constitution.
“Caretaker prime minister shall be appointed by the president in consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition in the outgoing NA as per Article 224-A(1) of the Constitution of Pakistan,” the letter said.
Alvi told the two that in case they do not agree on the appointment within three days of the dissolution of the NA, they shall forward two nominees each to a committee to be constituted by the speaker, comprising eight members of the outgoing NA, or the Senate, or both, having equal representation from the treasury and the opposition.
The members of that committee from the treasury and opposition benches are to be nominated by the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, respectively, in pursuance of Article 224-A(1) of the Constitution of Pakistan.
“It is worth stating that the Constitution has empowered the president, under Article 224-A(1), to appoint a caretaker prime minister in consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition in the outgoing NA,” a handout issued by the President’s Secretariat said.
Shehbaz backs out
Meanwhile, Shehbaz declared that he would not take part in the process and termed it “illegal”. He said that the president and the prime minister had broken the law and questioned how they could approach the opposition.
Information minister Fawad Chaudhry, however, seemed unperturbed by Shehbaz’s refusal to participate in the process of appointing a caretaker premier. Speaking to the media in Islamabad, he said that the country was gearing up for the next elections and dismissed the opposition’s allegations that the government’s actions were “unconstitutional”.
“We have sent two names [to the president] today. If [Shehbaz] does not send the names within seven days, one of these will be finalized,” he said.
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