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Saturday, February 24, 2024  
13 Shaban 1445  

PDM to reach an agreement on caretaker setup by July 30: sources

Ruling alliance heads to meet before final decision
Prime Minister Sheh­baz Sharif chairs a meeting of the federal cabinet in Islamabad on February 1, 2023. PID
Prime Minister Sheh­baz Sharif chairs a meeting of the federal cabinet in Islamabad on February 1, 2023. PID

The ruling coalition has decided to expedite the consultation process for the caretaker setup and complete it by July 30, sources told Aaj News on Monday.

The coalition partners would consult on several issues including the dissolution of the assemblies, names for the caretaker prime minister and formation of the interim cabinet, they added.

The party heads of the ruling alliance would exchange their views and recommendations in bilateral meetings while they would also take their party leaders into confidence regarding the discussions.

The consultations will be the continuity of PML-N’s Nawaz Sharif and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari meeting in Dubai.

A meeting of the heads of all parties in the PDM would be convened before a final decision is taken in this regard.

After an agreement is reached between the ruling alliance, the names and recommendations “would be then sent to PML-N’s Nawaz Sharif”.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif would consult with the opposition leader over the potential names for the caretaker prime minister as required by the Constitution.

It is expected that the consultations would be completed in the first week of August for the dissolution of the assemblies and caretaker setup, and the assemblies would likely be dissolved on August 12.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan Peoples Party leader Qamar Zaman Kaira revealed that discussions over the caretaker setup have officially begun.

Speaking on Geo News, Kaira said that the PM would discuss names with the opposition leader after consulting the allies.

Kaira said that the election reforms can and should be done in a few days. However, he added that the election should be held on the old election rules as the Election Commission of Pakistan has started the process on the old census and old constituencies.

Article 51(5) provides for fresh delimitations under “last preceding census officially published”. However, the fact that a census is currently underway could complicate things.

The new census and delimitation on its basis may take at least four months.

Some have argued that since the census has not been formally notified or published, elections can be conducted based on old censuses and constituencies.

Kaira added that delimitation could only be possible if the results of the census are officially notified.

He added that election reforms could be undertaken if ‘political parties consider them necessary’.

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