Pakistan Punjab Legislature Dissolved as Political Crisis Grows
Pakistan’s Punjab state has dissolved the local legislature on the advice of the chief minister, an ally of former premier Imran Khan, in a bid to force snap elections.
(Bloomberg) -- Pakistan’s Punjab state has dissolved the local legislature on the advice of the chief minister, an ally of former premier Imran Khan, in a bid to force snap elections.
The dissolution took effect after a 48-hour deadline for Governor Baligh ur Rehman to respond to Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi’s advice passed late Saturday night. The governor said on his Twitter message he would not take part the process.
According to Pakistan’s constitution, a legislature must be dissolved if the governor doesn’t act on a chief minister’s advice before the deadline lapses.
Rehman asked Elahi and Hamza Sharif, the opposition leader in the Punjab assembly, to consult on the appointment of a caretaker chief minister within three days. If they fail to agree on an appointment, a parliamentarian panel will try to select one or the Election Commission will name an interim chief minister.
Khan, who was removed from power in a no-confidence vote last year, also plans to dissolve the provincial assembly in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led coalition holds a majority.
Khan’s latest move is expected to deepen political uncertainty in Pakistan, which is facing a balance-of-payment crisis caused primarily by delays in the release of the next loan tranche by the International Monetary Fund.
The cricketer-turned politician believes early elections will help solve the country’s economic woes but Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has repeatedly rejected his demand for dissolving the national assembly and holding fresh polls in the flood-ravaged country of 220 million people.
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