Pakistan to go to polls on July 25; no consensus yet on caretaker PM
Pakistan will go to its next general elections on July 25, a presidential spokesman has informed, PTI reported. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) wrote to President Mamnoon Hussain on May 21 proposing to hold the elections for the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies between July 25 and 27, the report added.
On Friday, May 25, President Hussain approved July 25 as the date for the national and provincial elections, the president's office said.
Pakistan is currently witnessing a tussle between the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) - PML(N)-and the opposition over picking up an interim prime minister. In the ensuing elections, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan is likely to throw the biggest challenge to the PML(N).
The current government will complete its tenure on May 31 after which a caretaker government will take over on June 1 and be in place till a new government is formed after the elections, the PTI report added.
The PML(N) is only the second party to complete a full tenure of five years in office after the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) which served between 2008 and 2013 without any interruption.
However, no single prime minister in either the PPP and PML(N) government could rule during the entire five-year period.
Nawaz Sharif, who became the PM for the third time after the general elections of 2013, could not complete his term as he was ousted by the judiciary on charges of corruption. He was replaced by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the current incumbent.
The tenure of the assemblies will also be expiring next week and caretaker governments will also be set up at the provincial levels till the new governments take over, the report added.
According to the election commission, nearly 106 million voters will vote to elect the new government and while 59 million of them are males, only 47 million are females, the PTI report added.
PM Abbasi and opposition leader Khursheed Shah of the PPP have met several times to pick a caretaker prime minister of Pakistan but have failed to find a consensus candidate, the report added.