Govt, Opposition tight lipped on caretaker issue

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Name of caretaker PM to be finalized by May 16: Khursheed

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah Wednesday held discussion pertaining to the setup of the caretaker government, which will take over once the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government completes its tenure in end May.
It was the third meeting between the two on the matter. However, both the sides are still tight lipped on the names of the caretaker setup and no name has yet surfaced.
The opposition leader later told the media that he and the prime minister have not yet consulted with their allies on the appointment of a caretaker prime minister.
“The prime minister said that he will propose a name for the caretaker prime minister after taking his allies on board. I also told him that the opposition too will propose a name after consultation,” he said.
“We are hoping that a name for the caretaker prime minister will be finalised before May 16.”
Shah also admitted that he had suggested the dissolution of the government a day before the end of its tenure.
“If a government completes its tenure, the general elections are to be held within the next 60 days. However, if a government is dissolved even one day before the completion of its tenure, then the elections are supposed to be held within 90 days,” he elaborated.
The prime minister, however, had rejected the suggestion and vowed to hold a session of the assembly even on the last day of the government’s tenure, Shah said.
The current government is expected to conclude its five-year term on May 31, after which the caretaker government will take over to hold the general elections, which are expected to be held in the last week of July or first week of August.
As per the Constitution of Pakistan, the caretaker prime minister is appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the opposition leader in the National Assembly. Both the PM and the opposition leader then present names of three nominees each from which the consensus candidate is appointed as the caretaker prime minister. The prime responsibility of the caretaker government is to ensure that the elections are held in a transparent manner.

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