“O President Arif Alvi dissolved the National Assembly (parliament),” the Pakistani presidency said in a statement quoted by the Efe agency.
The decision comes as the main opposition leader seeks to overturn a corruption conviction that led to his detention in a high-security prison over the weekend.
The early dissolution of parliament can be interpreted as a movement by Sharif to extend the holding of elections, since if he had completed his term, general elections would have to be called within a maximum of sixty days from the end of the legislature.
Last weekend, a new census was approved in Pakistan, which implies a change in electoral districts that could delay the elections.
Sharif himself had announced hours earlier, during a speech in parliament, of his intention to dissolve his government today.
The official also announced that he will meet on Thursday with the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, to discuss the nomination of the new interim prime minister, who will lead the country until the elections are held and the election of a new head of government. government.
The uncertainty over the election date adds to the legal and political controversy surrounding Sharif’s predecessor and national cricket hero, Imran Khan.
The popular 70-year-old opposition leader was convicted by an Islamabad court on Saturday of concealment of assets and sentenced to three years in prison.
Khan has appealed the conviction, which effectively removes him from the election campaign at a time when his party is rising in the polls.
The Islamabad High Court, where Khan’s appeal will be heard, said today that it wants to hear from Pakistan’s government and election commission before making a decision on whether to overturn Khan’s conviction and release him.
The sentence also meant his disqualification from holding public office for the next five years, which will prevent him from running for election.
Lawyers for the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party asked for the transfer of the former prime minister to a “class A” prison, claiming that the politician was being mistreated in prison and occupied a very small room, without sanitary facilities.
Khan assumed leadership of the opposition after he was ousted in April last year following a no-confidence motion promoted by the current prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif.
The opposition leader faces more than 150 lawsuits, which, according to him, are aimed at keeping him out of the electoral race.
This is the second time Khan has been detained since leaving the government. The first arrest, in mid-May, ended days later, in the midst of intense social unrest in the country.
The violence only subsided after Khan was released by order of Pakistan’s Supreme Court. Since then, at least 10 people have died in clashes between Khan supporters and the police, who have arrested more than 5,000 people in connection with the riots.
Also Read: Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Appeals Corruption Conviction
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