PM, opposition leader mull over caretaker setup

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah are holding a 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.
The opposition leader reached PM House Wednesday morning to hold the third meeting with the premier over the matter.
The prime minister will share the opinion of the government and its allies with the opposition leader on the name of the caretaker prime minister.
Official said that the two leaders are also expected to hold a discussion over the budget for this year, which will be announced next month.
Abbasi and Shah will also review matters pertaining to Pakistan’s political situation, official said further.
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 premier 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.

‘Opposition yet to submit name for caretaker PM’

While speaking to media, Shah had remarked that the opposition has yet to submit a name for the caretaker prime minister.

The upcoming general elections depend on who will be elected as caretaker PM, he said.
“I have not had any final discussion with opposition allies over the issue. They haven’t submitted a final name. My party has to meet and decide on a name as well. The government might submit a name too,” he said.
“We want to bring forward people who can safeguard democracy in Pakistan. If we make a mistake and bring a person who is unable to hold free and fair elections, that will do major damage,” Shah emphasised.

In case a caretaker premier is not agreed upon by both sides, the matter is sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan, which then decides from among the given candidates.