- President sends letter to PM Shehbaz and Raja Riaz.
- President informs both leaders about Article 224A.
- PM and NA opposition leader expected to hold second round of today.
A day after Shehbaz Sharif and Raja Riaz’s first round of talks, President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday reminded the prime minister and leader of the opposition in the outgoing National Assembly to propose a “suitable person” for the interim premier by August 12 (Saturday).
In a letter to both PM Shehbaz and Riaz, the president informed them that under Article 224A they are supposed to propose a name for interim prime minister within three days of the dissolution of the National Assembly.
“As provided in Article 224 (1A) of the Constitution of Pakistan, the Prime Minister and leader of the Opposition in the outgoing National Assembly may propose a suitable person for the appointment of care-taker Prime Minister not later than 12th August,” said President Alvi in the letter.
Riaz and PM Shehhbaz held the first round of talks on the appointment a day earlier. Both the PM Office and Riaz had stated that the second round of talks on the appointment would be held today.
“It has been decided that another round of consultation will be held tomorrow (Friday). Till a name is not finalised no name will be revealed,” the NA opposition leader told the media after his consultation on Thursday. However, Riaz did confirm that he had shared the names of his candidates with the premier, hoping that things will clear out today.
The consultation between the premier and opposition leader was due after the dissolution of the 15th NA of Pakistan last night, with President Alvi’s approval of the summary sent by PM Shehbaz.
“The president dissolved the National Assembly on the advice of the prime minister under Article 58-1 of the Constitution,” read an official statement issued by the President’s Office on X, formerly known as Twitter, late Wednesday.
A process to appoint a caretaker prime minister will be conducted under Article 224-A of the Constitution, which will usher in an interim government to oversee an election.
Three names have been proposed, including two nominations — former diplomat Jalil Abbas Jilani and former chief justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jilani — sent by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori, by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).
However, there’s no public announcement by the Pakistan Mulsim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in this regard.
Names of former finance minister Ishaq Dar, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former caretaker prime minister Mohammad Mian Soomro are also under consideration.
What happens if PM, opposition leader fail to agree?
If the prime minister and the NA opposition leader fail to agree on the name within three days, the matter will go to the parliamentary committee for the appointment of a caretaker PM.
As per the law, the premier and the opposition leader will send their respective preferences for the coveted post to the parliamentary delegation.
The parliamentary committee will have to finalise the name of the caretaker prime minister within three days and if it too failed to reach a consensus on the name, then the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will pick the caretaker prime minister within two days from the names proposed by the opposition and the government.
By law, elections should be held within 90 days of parliament’s dissolution, but the outgoing government has already warned they are likely to be delayed.
After the Council of Common Interests (CCI) approved new census results, ECP is required to carry out fresh delimitation — an exercise that will likely take three to four months.