Imran Khan to continue duties under Article 224, says minister; what it means

Updated on Apr 03, 2022 03:26 PM IST

The opposition said it will challenge the block on the vote, while Imran Khan advised the Pakistan president to dissolve Parliament and called on the nation to prepare for fresh elections.

A shopkeeper tunes a TV screen to watch the speech of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad.(REUTERS)
A shopkeeper tunes a TV screen to watch the speech of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad.(REUTERS)
By | Written by Aniruddha Dhar, New Delhi

Imran Khan on Sunday survived a move by the opposition to oust him as Pakistan's prime minister, getting a reprieve when the deputy speaker of Parliament blocked a no-confidence motion as unconstitutional. However, Khan's fate is not immediately clear, leading to fresh political and constitutional uncertainty in the country.

The opposition vowed to challenge the block on the vote, while Khan advised Pakistan president Arif Alvi to dissolve Parliament and called on the nation to prepare for fresh elections.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, head of the opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP), promised a sit-in at the National Assembly and told reporters, "We are also moving to the Supreme Court today."

In a tweet, information minister Fawad Chaudhry said Khan will continue his duties under Article 224 of the Constitution, which is related to elections and by-elections. "The Prime Minister will continue his duties under Article 224 of the Constitution. The Cabinet has been dissolved," Hussain tweeted.

What is Article 224 of the Pakistan constitution?

Time of election and by-election

(1) A general election to the National Assembly or a Provincial Assembly shall be held within a period of 60 days immediately following the day on which the term of the Assembly is due to expire, unless the Assembly has been sooner dissolved, and the results of the election shall be declared not later than 14 days before that day:

Provided that on the dissolution of an Assembly on completion of its term, the President, in his discretion, or, as the case may be, the Governor, in his discretion but with the previous approval of the President, shall appoint a care-taker Cabinet.

(2) When the National Assembly or a Provincial Assembly is dissolved, a general election to the Assembly shall be held within a period of 90 days after the dissolution, and the results of the election shall be declared not later than fourteen days after the conclusion of the polls.

(3) An election to fill the seats in the Senate which are to become vacant on the expiration of the term of the members of the Senate shall be held not earlier than thirty days immediately preceding the day on which the vacancies are due to occur.

(4) When, except by dissolution of the National Assembly or a general seat in any such Assembly has become vacant not later than one hundred and twenty days before the term of that Assembly is due to expire, an election to fill the seat shall be held within sixty days from the occurrence of the vacancy.

(5) When a seat in the Senate has become vacant, an election to fill the seat shall be held within thirty days from the occurrence of the vacancy.

(6) When a seat reserved for women or non-Muslims in the National Assembly or a Provincial Assembly falls vacant, for death, resignation or disqualification of a member, it shall be filled by the next person in order of precedence from the party list of the candidates submitted to the Election Commission for the last general election by the political party whose member has vacated such seat.

(7) When a care-taker Cabinet is appointed, on the dissolution of the National Assembly under Article 58 or a Provincial Assembly under Article 112, or on the dissolution of any such Assembly on completion of its term, the Prime Minister or, as the case may be, the Chief Minister of the care-taker Cabinet shall not be eligible to contest the immediately following election of such Assembly.

224A. Resolution by Committee or Election Commission

(1) In case the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing National Assembly do not agree on any person to be appointed as the care-taker Prime Minister, within three days of the dissolution of the National Assembly, they shall forward two nominees each to a Committee to be immediately constituted by the Speaker of the National Assembly, comprising eight members of the outgoing National Assembly, or the Senate, or both, having equal representation from the Treasury and the Opposition, to be nominated by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition respectively.

(2) In case a Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing Provincial Assembly do not agree on any person to be appointed as the care-taker Chief Minister, within three days of the dissolution of that Assembly, they shall forward two nominees each to a Committee to be immediately constituted by the Speaker of the Provincial Assembly, comprising six members of the outgoing Provincial Assembly having equal representation from the Treasury and the Opposition, to be nominated by the Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition respectively.

(3) The Committee constituted under clause (1) or (2) shall finalize the name of the care-taker Prime Minister or care-taker Chief Minister, as the case may be, within three days of the referral of the matter to it:

Provided that in case of inability of the Committee to decide the matter in the aforesaid period, the names of the nominees shall be referred to the Election Commission of Pakistan for final decision within two days.

(4) The incumbent Prime Minister and the incumbent Chief Minister shall continue to hold office till appointment of the care-taker Prime Minister and the care-taker Chief Minister, as the case may be.

(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in clauses (1) and (2), if the members of the Opposition are less than five in the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and less than four in any Provincial Assembly, then all of them shall be members of the Committee mentioned in the aforesaid clauses and the Committee shall be deemed to be duly constituted.

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