2018 Elections: Date to be Announced After Consultation, says ECP

By Atiya Riffat

After Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) website mentioned July 31 as the date of 2018 general elections, the commission later clarified that the date is yet to be announced.

“The date and schedule of elections is not something to be hidden,” Altaf Hussain, a spokesman for the ECP said. He added that an “empty link was put on the ECP website.”

Although the ECP has not yet made any formal announcement pertaining to the date for countrywide polls, previous reports had suggested that the commission had recommended holding 2018 elections by the end of July.

According to media,  ECP officials had earlier pondered over the dates of July 25 or 26 (Wednesday or Thursday) to conduct the polls.

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 and the basic functions of the government continue without an elected setup in place.

In April, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah conducted a discussion regarding to the caretaker government, which will take over after the completion of tenure by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government.

The prime minister on the name of the caretaker prime minister shared the opinion of the government and its allies with the opposition leader.

Following the meeting with premier, Shah met with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi at the chambers of the Parliament House.

Shah over his meeting took Qureshi into confidence with the prime minister. He shared that the opposition should start finalising their names of the post of caretaker PM.