Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has proposed that parliament be dissolved on August 9, three days before its term ends. This paves the way for a general election to be held by November. The elections were previously thought to be postponed due to political and economic turmoil. Two members of parliament who attended a dinner with the Prime Minister revealed that he plans to dissolve parliament on August 9 and establish a caretaker government to organize the elections. The dissolution of parliament a few days earlier allows Shehbaz and his allies more time to prepare for the upcoming electoral battle against the party led by ousted former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
A caretaker government has 90 days to hold a general election when the government hands over power early, compared to 60 days if power is handed over at the end of parliament’s term. The current coalition came into power after Imran Khan was ousted in April 2022. Since then, Imran has been advocating for a snap election and organizing protests, which resulted in significant violence in May. This has created tension with the military, which holds significant power in Pakistan.
The political crisis is happening at the same time as an economic crisis. To address the acute balance of payments crisis and the shortage of central bank reserves, the International Monetary Fund has approved a $3 billion bailout for Pakistan.
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