Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Opposition Leader Raja Riaz met today to discuss and decide on the name of the Caretaker Prime Minister, who would lead the interim administration and oversee elections for Pakistan’s next elected government.
The National Assembly will be dissolved today following Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s farewell statement. After addressing the lower house of parliament, the prime minister will submit a summary to President Dr. Arif Alvi for the dissolution of Pakistan’s 15th National Assembly.
The subject of who will be the Caretaker Prime Minister, who would lead the country to the approaching election, is circulating in rumour mills around the country. Whether the caretaker prime minister will be a bureaucrat or a politician is likely to be chosen in today’s meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and opposition leader Raja Riaz.
According to government insiders, a bureaucrat has emerged as the frontrunner in the contest for caretaker prime minister.
Among those vying for the position of interim premier are Ishaq Dar, Hafeez Sheikh, and Justice Shakeel Baloch. Hafeez Sheikh, a former finance minister of Pakistan, is also being considered for a major position in the forthcoming caretaker administration.
Within three days, the prime minister and the opposition leader have to reach an agreement on the top office of the interim government. If they are unable to reach an agreement, the matter will be determined by a legislative body within three days; if the deadlock persists, the electoral commission will publish the choice of the caretaker prime minister within two days.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif rejected any finalization of a candidate for the role on Tuesday, as well as any shortlisting of individuals in an interview.
The premier went on to say that conversations with the government’s partners and his own party members on the issue were ongoing and would be completed within a day or two.
Defence Minister and PML-N stalwart Khawaja Asif said yesterday that someone who is not on the shortlist might be appointed as interim prime minister.
Khawaja Asif told a television outlet that opposition leader Raja Riaz is also taking part in the nominating process for caretaker PM.
He stated that the decision would be made on Wednesday (today). Asif stated that many people are interested in being the caretaker PM because the caretaker setup’s stay is likely to be extended.
The military minister believes that general elections should take place in the first quarter of 2024.