Pakistan’s ex-premier says will dissolve 2 key provincial assemblies on Dec. 23

In a video address alongside the chief ministers of the northeastern Punjab and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provinces, Khan announced that the two assemblies will be dissolved on Dec. 23.

Khan’s center-right Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party solely rules KP, while in Punjab – the country’s bellwether region – it is in coalition with the Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q).

The cricketer-turned-politician, who was ousted from the power this April through a successful no-trust move, has been demanding early general elections, which otherwise are slated for October next year.

He said the government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif could try to delay general elections beyond next October.

According to Pakistan’s Constitution, new elections must be held within 90 days after the national or provincial assemblies are disbanded.

Khan said the PTI is willing to give up its provincial governments to force Sharif and his coalition partners to call nationwide elections, as polls in Punjab and KP mean that more than half of the country will already be voting for new provincial setups.

“Pakistan needs fresh and fair elections as we fear the country is drowning,” he said, insisting that a government with a fresh mandate and “the nation’s support will be able to raise its stature.”

Khan, who was wounded in an apparent assassination bid last month, blames his unceremonious ouster on a US-backed conspiracy, an allegation that Islamabad and Washington have repeatedly refuted.

Source: Anadolu Agency