President seeks dates for fresh polls amid political turmoil in Pakistan

Islamabad, Apr 6 (EFE).- Pakistan President Arif Alvi Wednesday asked the poll panel for dates to conduct fresh general elections as the top court resumed hearing to determine the fate of the embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The presidential office wrote on Twitter that Alvi sent a letter to the Election Commission asking the poll body to suggest dates for general elections that should be held “within 90 days of the dissolution of the National Assembly.”

Khan blocked a no-confidence motion on Sunday and advised the president to order fresh elections, fueling anger and triggering a political upheaval in a country ruled by the military for the better part of its history since independence in 1947

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments from government lawyers on the legality of the parliament blocking the motion against Khan’s government that could have removed him from power.

The court proceedings are held by a five-member bench of the Supreme Court that took a suo moto notice of the situation described by analysts as a “big constitutional crisis” in the country.

The court is likely to give its verdict if Khan needs a floor test in the lower house of the parliament.

The opposition claimed that Khan had lost the parliamentary majority in the house before National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, Khan’s ally, dismissed the motion on Sunday.

President Alvi dissolved the government on the prime minister’s advice, a privilege Khan cannot exercise when the no-confidence motion is in the house.

If the parliament’s act stands intact by the court, an interim government has to be formed within 15 days to hold general elections within 90 days.

If the court declares the parliament’s proceedings null and void, Khan will face a no-confidence motion.

The opposition will stake the claim to form the government if he fails to show the majority.

Khan, whose five-year term was due to end next year, has claimed that the no-confidence motion was part of a conspiracy by a foreign government due to his visit to Russia on the day of the Ukraine invasion.

The cricketer-turned-politician indicated, at least on two occasions, that the country behind the efforts to oust him was the United States. Washington has denied the allegations.

Khan holds the office as an interim prime minister until a caretaker premier is appointed to hold elections. EFE


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