Arif Alvi to continue as Pakistan President even after term ends

By Press Trust of India: Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi is likely to continue as the head of state even after his term ends on September 8 as there will be no electoral college in the country to elect a new president in his place.

According to the Constitution, a new president will be voted by the electoral college comprising the Senate, the National Assembly and all the provincial assemblies.

While the assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces have already been dissolved, the others are set to be dissolved next month ahead of the general election.

Alvi, Pakistan’s 13th head of state, will likely continue as there will be no assemblies and no electoral college to elect a new president in his place, the Geo News reported.

Alvi, 73, was sworn in on September 9, 2018. His five-year term will end on September 8. Prior to becoming the President, he was a senior member of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

According to Pakistan’s Constitution: “Election to the office of President shall be held not earlier than sixty days and not later than thirty days before the expiration of the term of the President in office: Provided that, if the election cannot be held within the period aforesaid because the National Assembly is dissolved, it shall be held within thirty days of the general election to the Assembly.”

Therefore, the presidential polls have to be held 30 days prior to September 8.

“The electoral college, at present, is incomplete because Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies do not exist; therefore, the president cannot be elected,” Rashid Chaudhry, the deputy director of programmes at the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN), told Geo News.

Meanwhile, Adviser to Punjab Chief Minister on Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Kunwar Dilshad, said that the election for the president will take place once the electoral college is complete.

According to the Constitution, the president shall continue to hold office even after his term expires until a new president is elected and assumes office.

Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency President Ahmad Bilal Mehboob said that the head of state would continue to perform his duties even after his term has ended unless a forerunner replaces them.

Therefore, according to the Constitution, President Alvi will stay in office until the arrival of the new president.

Pakistan’s major ruling coalition partners have reportedly agreed to dissolve the National Assembly on August 8, a few days before the completion of its five-year term, to get extra time for general elections.

The five-year constitutional term of the incumbent National Assembly expires on August 12 at midnight — four days after the date on which both parties have reportedly agreed to dissolve the legislature.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) — the two major stakeholders in the federal government — have agreed to dissolve the National Assembly on August 8, media reports said.

The provincial assembly in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was dissolved on January 18 after the Governor, Haji Ghulam Ali, accepted the request for dissolution by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, who is a leader of former prime mnister Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The move came just days after the assembly in the country’s most populous province, Punjab, was dissolved following an order by Khan, the head of PTI.

Like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab too was ruled by Khan’s party.

The dissolution of the two provincial assemblies was seen as a bid by Khan to push for early national elections. The former prime minister has been demanding immediate polls ever since his ouster in April 2022.

Khan was removed from office through a no-confidence vote, becoming the first premier in the country’s history to be sent home after losing the trust of the House.

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