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Pakistan's president dissolves National Assembly

Pakistani President Arif Alvi has approved Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s advice to dissolve the National Assembly, or the lower house of the parliament, according to an official statement.

“The president dissolved the National Assembly on the advice of the prime minister under article 58-1 of the constitution,” a statement from Alvi’s office said.

The advice came three days before the completion of the parliament’s five-year term, which expires on August 12. It will be followed with a caretaker administration to be picked by Sharif and an opposition leader in the outgoing parliament to hold new elections in 90 days.

The dissolution of the National Assembly, which elects the federal government, will cause the country’s central government led by Sharif to step down.

According to the Pakistani constitution, if the assembly is terminated before its stipulated time, the general elections would be held within 90 days and if it completes its mandated period then the election would take place within 60 days.

Following the end of the government, the prime minister will discuss with the opposition leader to decide on a caretaker prime minister who will take charge until the next general elections.

On Wednesday, Sharif delivered his farewell speech to the house, saying he would start consultations on Thursday to decide about a caretaker prime minister within three days, who will choose his cabinet for three months or until the formation of the next elected government.

The vote, however, could be delayed several months with the election commission set to start redrawing hundreds of constituencies based on a fresh census.

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