Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah disclosed on Sunday that an apolitical individual or a technocrat might be appointed interim prime minister amid ongoing discussions among the ruling coalition about the caretaker set-up. Sanaullah hinted that Hafeez Shaikh, former finance minister, and a former Supreme Court judge have been shortlisted for the role, while Ishaq Dar, Finance Minister, and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a former premier, were not in contention. Sanaullah confirmed that the caretaker prime minister would be neutral with no political affiliations.
Caretaker Prime Minister Appointment Process and Timeline
With Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif set to dissolve the National Assembly on August 9, three days before the government’s term end, the name of the caretaker premier is expected to be disclosed by Tuesday. All coalition parties have ratified this decision, which means the next general elections should be held within 90 days as per the Constitution. Sanaullah indicated that the new census results’ approval, the demand of all political parties and provinces, could potentially delay the polls, pushing them to February-March next year.
President’s Position and Constitutional Continuity
While President Arif Alvi’s five-year tenure is due to end next month, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar confirmed that Alvi would remain in his position until a successor is elected, as per the Constitution. In the event of Alvi’s resignation, the Senate chairman would take over the presidential role, followed by the National Assembly speaker, if the Senate chairman was also unavailable.