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Khyber Pakhtunkwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali dissolves assembly on CM’s advice

PESHAWAR: 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.

“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 Khan Durrani.

The letter further mentioned that in terms of Clause (4) of Article 224-A of the Constitution, “the incumbent chief minister Mahmod 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 is important to note that unlike his Punjab counterpart Engineer Mian Muhammad Balighur Rehman, who didn’t sign CM Chauhdry Parvez Elahi’s advice, Governor KP Haji 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.

Talking to reporters in Peshawar later in the day, Haji Ghulam Ali said that he hoped Mahmood and Durrani would not “waste any time” and decide on a name for the caretaker CM with consensus so that the “country can solve its political and economic crisis”.

He said that he himself acted promptly because the eight to nine months had already been “wasted”.

“Why are attempts being made to create a quagmire […] let the people of Punjab and KP decide,” he added.

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 Khan 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.