Caretaker Prime Minister may be someone outside the list of shortlisted candidates: Asif

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In an interview with a private news channel, Khawaja Asif revealed that the opposition leader Raja Riaz is actively participating in the process of appointing a caretaker Prime Minister.

Asif stated that the final decision will be made today, on Wednesday. He also mentioned that there are several individuals who are vying for the role of caretaker Prime Minister, as the tenure of the caretaker government could be extended.

The Defense Minister expressed his opinion that the general elections should be held in the first quarter of 2024.

When asked about PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan, Asif stated that he should come back in September.

Opposition finalizes three candidates

Earlier today, the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly, Raja Riaz, announced that the opposition has finalized three candidates for the position of caretaker Prime Minister. This comes as the incumbent government’s tenure is expected to end tomorrow, on August 9.

Responding to a query, Raja Riaz mentioned that the upcoming general elections are anticipated to take place in March 2024 after the Council of Common Interest (CCI) officially announces the digital census in 2023.

Caretaker Prime Minister

The current tenure of the National Assembly will end on August 12. If it completes its full time period, elections must be held within 60 days. However, according to the Constitution, if the assembly is dissolved before its term is completed, the polls must be conducted within 90 days.

If a summary is moved to dissolve the lower house on August 9 (tomorrow), the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will be responsible for conducting the elections within 90 days.

Before the assembly dissolves, the government and the opposition need to agree on the caretaker setup to bridge the gap before the next general election and the formation of a new elected government.

With only one day remaining until the given date for the dissolution of the National Assembly by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, discussions are underway within the ruling coalition for the appointment of a “mutually agreed upon” caretaker Prime Minister.

Names such as Ishaq Dar, Hafeez Sheikh, and Justice Shakeel Baloch have been mentioned for the interim Prime Minister’s position, but the current government has not yet confirmed any of them.

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