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ISLAMABAD: The next elected government is likely to be in place by end of February or first week of March following the 8 February general elections in the country, making the current caretaker setup as the longest to stay in office for almost five and a half months contrary to constitutional requirement of three months.

Parliamentary sources maintained that the election process of the next political government is likely to be completed by end of February. In the first phase soon after declaration of the results, elections for the offices of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly will be held followed by elections of the Leader of the House – the Prime Minister – either on the same day or next day, they added.

Under Article 224(2) of the Constitution of Pakistan, the caretaker setup is constitutionally bound to conduct general elections within 90 days of the dissolution of the parliament. The then Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had dissolved the previous National Assembly on August 9, 2023 and Kakar took oath as the eighth caretaker premier on August 14, 2023.

Previously, former Justice Nasirul Mulk remained the caretaker prime minister for 79 days from June 1, 2018, to August 18, 2018. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan took oath on August 18, 2028 – 24 days after 25 July 2018 general elections. The then caretaker Prime Minister former Justice Nasirul Mulk had taken the oath on 1 June 2018 and his caretaker setup remained in office for two months and 18 days.

The second longest-serving interim government was led by Mian Muhammad Soomro - for 130 days, from November 16, 2007 to March 24, 2008.

Former Justice Mir Hazar Khan Khoso was the interim prime minister for 71 days, and remained in office from March 25, 2013, to June 4, 2013.

Malik Meraj Khalid served as the caretaker prime minister for 104 days, from November 5, 1996, to February 16, 1997.

Moeenuddin Ahmad Qureshi served as the caretaker premier for 92 days, from July 18, 1993 to October 18, 1993.

Balakh Sher Mazari’s tenure was the shortest, for 38 days as the caretaker premier, from April 18, 1993, to May 26, 1993.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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