Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali on Wednesday signed the advice for the dissolution of the provincial assembly sent to him by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan a day ago.

Speaking to a news channel, the governor confirmed that he has signed the advice sent by the chief minister. 

“I, Haji Ghulam Ali, Governor of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, under clause (1) of Article 112 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, dissolve the provincial assembly of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with immediate effect. Henceforth, the provincial cabinet also stands dissolved,” the governor wrote in a letter sent to CM Mahmood and Leader of the Opposition of the outgoing assembly Akram Durrani.

The letter further mentioned that in terms of Clause (4) of Article 224-A of the Constitution, “the incumbent chief minister Mahmood Khan shall continue to hold office to perform day-to-day affairs of the province till the appointment of the caretaker chief minister”.

The governor stated that in terms of Article 224(1A) of the Constitution, to appoint the caretaker chief minister “by the governor in consultation with the chief minister and the leader of the opposition in the outgoing provincial assembly”, within the stipulated period of three days as provided by Article 224-A (1), the office of the governor shall be available for consultation without any formal appointment till the expiry of the aforesaid period.

It may be noted that unlike his Punjab counterpart, who didn’t sign CM Parvez Elahi’s advice, Governor Ghulam Ali moved swiftly and dissolved the provincial legislature.

“I have decided not to become part of the process leading to the dissolution of Punjab Assembly. I would rather let the Constitution and law take its own course,” Governor Balighur Rehman had said while refusing to sign the assembly dissolution summary.

Now that the KP governor has dissolved the assembly, the process has started for the appointment of a caretaker CM.

CARETAKER CM’S APPOINTMENT: Article 224 of the Constitution explains the process of appointment of a caretaker government at the centre and provinces.

Since the polls are being held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, we shall consider only officials at the provincial level in the caretaker government.

Until the formation of a caretaker government, Mahmood will continue his duties as the CM albeit for a few days.

It is only the incumbent Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly speaker, out of all elected representatives, who will hold his position until the newly-elected lawmakers take an oath and elect his replacement.

For the formation of a caretaker government, CM Mahmood will write to the leader of the opposition in the assembly, within 48 hours of the dissolution of the assembly, seeking three names for the caretaker chief minister and will suggest three names himself.

If an impasse, between the two leaders, lasts for three days, then the speaker will form a committee comprising six members of the outgoing assembly with equal representation from the treasury and the opposition.

To the committee, the CM and the leader of the opposition will forward two nominees each.

The committee then will have three days to evolve consensus on one name. If that fails as well then the names of the nominees will be referred to the Election Commission of Pakistan for a final decision within two days.

The selected nominee will perform his/her duties as the interim CM until the formation of a new government in the province. The interim CM also has the power to induct his own cabinet.

Following the placement of a caretaker chief minister, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is bound to carry out general elections in the province within 90 days.

The ECP can hold polls within 22 to 45 days because constitutionally it requires at least 22 days to scrutinise the nomination papers of the candidates.

The candidates will be given 29 to 30 days to run their election campaign. 

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