Pakistan to hold general elections on July 25

President Mamnoon Hussain approves the date, as the government prepares to hand power over to caretaker administration.

National assembly pakistan
Successful elections would mark Pakistan's second-ever democratic transition of power [Archive: Anjum Naveed/The Associated Press]

Pakistan will hold general elections for July 25, a presidential spokesman has said. 

President Mamnoon Hussain approved the date on Saturday, which will see Pakistan’s more than 100 million voters getting the opportunity to vote for both the national and provincial assemblies.

The five-year term of the country’s government and National Assembly ends on May 31, after which an interim prime minister and administration will take over.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and opposition leader Khursheed Shah have yet to agree on who will be the caretaker.

The 70-year-old country experienced its first democratic transition of power in 2013, when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came out on top as the biggest party.

Nawaz Sharif, the party’s leader, was dismissed from his job as prime minister by the Supreme Court in July last year for an omission in a wealth declaration to parliament.

The general elections are largely expected to pit the PML-N against its main rival, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party led by former cricket star Imran Khan.

Since he was ousted, Sharif and the PML-N have become increasingly vocal in their confrontation with the country’s military establishment and courts, claiming they are victims of a conspiracy to reduce the power of their party.

Despite the numerous court rulings against the PML-N, the party has won a string of recent by-elections proving it will likely remain a powerful force.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies