Who is Pakistan’s Caretaker Prime Minister? As Pakistan gears up for a general election in 90 days (about 3 months), Senator Anwar Ul-Haq Kakar has been appointed as interim prime minister.
A new caretaker prime minister has been chosen, days after Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi dissolved the lower house of parliament to allow for a general election under a neutral caretaker government.
The election is scheduled to take place in 90 days (about 3 months), by November, but as the country struggles with constitutional, political, and economic difficulties, doubt surrounds the exact date.
Here are some pertinent queries on the current scenario and how the upcoming few months are anticipated to develop.
Anwar Ul-Haq Kakar, a coalition ally who dropped support for Imran Khan in late March, has been nominated by outgoing premier Shehbaz Sharif and opposition leader Raja Riaz Ahma.
The least populated region of Pakistan’s Senate, Balochistan, will lead an interim administration until the next poll and be charged with selecting a cabinet to oversee crucial departments.
Until President Alvi approves the caretaker premier, Sharif will continue to serve as prime minister. He and the opposition leader in parliament chose a unifying figure to lead the interim government.
The elections will be postponed?
Elections must be held by the interim administration within 90 days (about 3 months). However, new electoral boundaries must be created by the Election Commission because the departing administration authorized a fresh census in its closing hours.
According to a former commission employee, it might take at least six months to redistrict hundreds of federal and provincial districts in a nation with 241 million citizens.
The Election Commission must declare how long the process will take, which may involve candidates suing over the newly formed constituencies, and then, depending on that, provide an election date.
The military continues to play a significant role in the nation’s underbelly. Throughout Pakistan’s 76-year history, it has directly controlled the nation for more than three decades and possesses unparalleled political clout.
Political observers worry that if the caretaker regime lasts over its constitutionally mandated term, the strong military would be able to strengthen its hold on power.
Who are the leading candidates?
Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Shehbaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) are the three front-runners for the position of prime minister.
With Khan imprisoned and unable to vote, his PTI will attempt to capitalize on its followers’ compassion and resentment to replicate its election success from last year. However, considering the ongoing standoff with the military, the future of PTI depends on a detente with the generals, which now appears doubtful.
The brother of the former prime minister and three-term prime minister Nawaz Sharif, whose PML-N was the largest partner in the previous coalition government, is attempting to return from exile. Shehbaz is still the favorite to take over again, even though a corruption conviction against him is still in effect.
Another prominent candidate is 34-year-old Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the PPP chairman and the son of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. As the departing government’s foreign minister, he created waves both at home and in important international capitals, and he is largely seen as a potential prime.
Challenges before the elections
The biggest problem is maintaining economic stability in the $350 billion (about $1,100 per person in the US) economy, which is recovering slowly after an IMF rescue prevented a default on its debts. Historic inflation and interest rates have already been boosted by economic changes.
Following Khan’s imprisonment and exclusion, political instability is a new important front. Unlike in May when his supporters went on a rampage, there was no violence after his arrest; but his ongoing custody will cast doubt on the validity of the election.
If the elections are postponed for more than 90 days (about 3 months), there will undoubtedly be constitutional and legal issues, and a functioning Supreme Court is known to intervene to interpret constitutional issues.
Can Imran Khan influence the outcome of the general elections?
Imran Khan, the nation’s leading opposition figure and former prime minister, is unlikely to be involved in this procedure because members of his party quit the legislature last year in opposition to his ouster in a vote of no-confidence.
Dissidents from his party now make up the opposition, with Raja Riaz Ahmad as its head. After being found guilty of corruption, Khan was sentenced to three years in prison and was disqualified from running in elections for five years. He has asserted his innocence.