Elections will be held in October or November as government will complete term in August: PM Shahbaz

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addressing the Education Endowment Fund launch ceremony in Islamabad on July 12, 2023.  - PID
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addressing the Education Endowment Fund launch ceremony in Islamabad on July 12, 2023. – PID
  • PDM-led government will complete its term on August 14: PM Shahbaz.
  • The statement suggested premature dissolution of the NA.
  • Elections are held 60 days after the completion of the term of the NA.

Amid uncertainty over the next general elections, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that the term of the coalition government will end on 14 August and the date for the next elections will be announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in “October or November”. ,

The Prime Minister’s statement revealed that the current rulers are not considering dissolving the National Assembly before its scheduled date, which is set to expire on August 14 this year.

General elections are held 60 days after the National Assembly completes its constitutional term. However, if the government dissolves the lower house of parliament before the constitutional term expires, the election date can be extended up to 90 days after the dissolution.

“The term of our government will end on August 14 […] The Election Commission will decide when the elections will be held – in October or November,” he said during the Education Endowment Fund launch ceremony in Islamabad on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister said, “…whoever forms the next government after the elections, their topmost priority should be education so that they can make this country great.”

He said Rs 3 billion has been budgeted for this financial year for an endowment fund to equip the youth with education and make them “nation builders”.

All the major partners of the ruling coalition – Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) – are on the same page to hold the elections. with constitutional provisions.

Earlier this week, the PPP – a key coalition partner – proposed to the federal government to dissolve all assemblies on August 8.

Federal Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar had also categorically stated that there would be no extension in the tenure of the National Assembly.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had said that the assemblies could be dissolved before the scheduled date of 13 August to “convenience” the ECP.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has also demanded the elections to be held as per schedule as it sees “its victory” in the upcoming elections.

The government is under pressure as Pakistan is witnessing one of its worst economic crises, with inflation hitting record highs and prices failing to ease despite officials’ claims to “provide relief to the public”.

According to recent polls, the PDM’s popularity has plummeted, and it faces an uphill task of wooing supporters to vote for it in the next elections.

The PML-N is eyeing the return of its supremo Nawaz Sharif as the party wants to see him in power for the fourth time. The three-time prime minister has a strong support base in Punjab.

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