Pakistan Parliament may be dissolved; elections by April

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Islamabad, Oct 30: Pakistan's Parliament is likely to be dissolved in Jan 2013 and a caretaker government installed to oversee elections to be held by Apr. Speculation has increased in political circles about the government preparing a preliminary roadmap for the next general election, which is scheduled for early 2013.

The National Assembly or lower house of Parliament is likely to be dissolved on Jan 16 or 17, The News daily quoted its sources as saying. President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf would make a final decision about installing a caretaker government, dissolving the national and provincial assemblies and the holding of the general election after consulting partners in the ruling coalition.

If the National Assembly is dissolved in Jan, the constitutional limit for holding polls will be 90 days. At the same time, the Constitution states that polls must be held within 60 days of the completion of the tenure of the current Parliament.

The current National Assembly will complete its tenure on Mar 16 and the general election may be held by Apr 26, the report said. As the polls get closer, political "wheeling and dealing" has gathered pace and new political alliances may be forged before the election, the report said.

However, it would be a landmark for the country as a democratic government will complete its tenure for the first time and credit for this achievement is being given to the political strategy of President Zardari, sources said. Some sources claimed the 2013 election would be surprising like the last polls to the Senate or upper house of Parliament, in which the ruling Pakistan People's Party emerged stronger than before.


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