General

2018 elections: Date to be announced after consultation, says ECP

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has said that the date for General Elections 2018 will be announced after mutual consultation, an hour after its website mentioned July 31 as the date for the conduct of polls.
“The date and schedule of elections is not something to be hidden,” Altaf Hussain, a spokesman for the ECP told. He said that an “empty link was put on the ECP website.”
Hussain said that a date for elections would be announced after mutual consultation. He added that the ECP would welcome all observers, including foreigners.
Previously, sources informed that the ECP had recommended that the 2018 elections be held by the end of July.
According to sources, ECP officials had been pondering over July 25 or 26 (Wednesday or Thursday) as tentative dates for the conduct of polls.
The ECP had already started working on the summary for elections date, sources said earlier this month, which would be forwarded to the president.
Following an approval of the summary by the president, they said further, the ECP would issue a schedule for polls.
The incumbent government is expected to conclude its five-year term on May 31, after which the caretaker government will take over to oversee the general elections.
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 held a discussion pertaining to the caretaker government, which will take over once the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government completes its tenure.
The prime minister shared the opinion of the government and its allies with the opposition leader on the name of the caretaker prime minister.
Following the meeting with premier, Shah met with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi at the chambers of the Parliament House.
Shah took Qureshi into confidence over his meeting with the prime minister. He shared that the opposition should start finalising their names of the post of caretaker PM.
The meeting was also attended by Shireen Mazari and Naveed Qamar.