ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Friday said that a parliamentary committee is yet to be formed to decide on a candidate as the caretaker prime minister.
During an informal conversation with journalists in the federal capital today, the NA speaker said he had not received requests from Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi or NA Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah for the formation of the committee.
"The Parliamentary Committee to mull over the caretaker prime minister candidature will only be formed after the premier and the opposition leader lodge a request," observed Sadiq.
He noted that the committee — which will include four members each of the government and the opposition — can be formed up to three days after the tenure of assemblies ends.
So far, five meetings have been held between PM Abbasi and Shah but all of them ended in a deadlock, with the matter now expected to be taken to a parliamentary committee.
“It is Khursheed Shah’s opinion to wait till Monday and if a name [for the caretaker PM] is not decided upon then the names should be sent to the committee. If the committee cannot decide the matter, it will be sent to the Election Commission,” Prime Minister Abbasi had told Hamid Mir during an interview on Thursday.
The prime minister had said that the reason for the deadlock was because both parties did not agree upon names for the caretaker prime minister proposed by the other. “They do not accept our three names and we do not accept the three names they [opposition] have put forward. However, a consensus can still be reached on a fourth name.”
In the wake of the upcoming general elections and with the government’s tenure ending on May 31, an interim system was demanded by the opposition parties so the free and fair elections can be held. As per the Constitution, the PM and NA opposition leader mutually finalize the name of the caretaker PM after presenting suggestions.
However, if the prime minister and NA opposition leader are unable to arrive at a consensus, the matter is then decided on by a Parliamentary Committee formed at the request of the two leaders representing the government and opposition. In case of the committee's failure to reach consensus on the matter, a candidate for the caretaker prime minister is then chosen by the Election Commission of Pakistan.