–Khursheed Shah says he’s hopeful govt and Opp will reach common ground over name for caretaker PM
ISLAMABAD: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly (NA) Khursheed Shah on Friday announced that he will hold a second meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday to finalise the name for the caretaker prime minister position.
Shah made this announcement after holding a meeting with the PM for the same purpose on Friday wherein both failed to reach a consensus.
Following the meeting, Shah told the media that he was hopeful of the government and opposition reaching common ground on the selection of a candidate for the post.
“There was a shortage of time as the premier had to leave for the OIC summit in Turkey so we couldn’t discuss the matter elaborately,” he said.
The new caretaker government will take over once the current Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government completes its tenure.
The caretaker PM is constitutionally appointed following the consensus between the leader of the house in National Assembly (prime minister) and leader of the opposition in NA.
On Thursday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had said that the date for General Elections 2018 will be announced after mutual consultation, an hour after its website mentioned July 31 as the date for the conduct of polls.
“The date and schedule of elections is not something to be hidden,” said ECP spokesperson Altaf Hussain while speaking to a local news channel adding that “an empty link has been put on the ECP website.”
The formal process for choosing caretaker PM started in April following a meeting between the PM and Khursheed Shah in which the names of potential candidates were discussed.
According to reports, the premier had stressed upon reaching consensus during the April meeting with Shah on choosing a candidate as caretaker PM, and added that the political parties should not leave space for ‘other institutions’ to intervene.
In case the leader of the house and leader of the opposition in NA fail to agree on caretaker PM, the matter would constitutionally land before the NA speaker who would form an eight-member parliamentary committee comprising MNAs and senators from ruling and opposition parties to pick a candidate as the caretaker PM.
The ECP would appoint a candidate as caretaker PM the way it did in 2013 when the ECP appointed Mir Hazar Khan Khoso after the government and opposition failed to agree on a candidate.
According to reports, no candidates have been shortlisted for caretaker premier yet since the PM wants the inclusion of other political parties in the process and get their respective inputs.