ISLAMABAD, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf is set to deliver his farewell speech to the nation later on Saturday to focus on the upcoming parliamentary elections, officials said.
The prime minister is likely to formally recommend to the president to dissolve the National Assembly or Lower House of the parliament on completion of five-year constitutional term on March at mid-night.
The speech to be aired live on the state television was delayed for one-and-half hour and will start at 9:30 p.m. local time, spokesman for the prime minister's office said.
Some sources said the speech was delayed to continue consultations with the main opposition to reach consensus on the caretaker prime minister.
The government and the opposition have rejected nominees for the interim prime minister but both are in contact to find out a solution.
Information Minister Qamar-uz-Zaman Kaira told reporters in Islamabad on Saturday that new names for the caretaker prime minister could also be discussed after the rejection of previous nominees.
Presidential spokesman, Senator Farhatullah Babar, had earlier stated that the government and the opposition would reach understanding. The spokesman also said that the prime minister is likely to make the announcement of consensus interim prime minister.
The issue would be referred to a parliamentary committee if both sides failed to agree on a consensus name. The parliamentary committee after consultations will send the matter to the chief election commissioner, who will make a final decision. In case of differences, the prime minister could stay for few more days until the chief election commissioner makes a decision.
The prime minister had invited chief ministers of four provinces to discuss matters relating to the elections and the caretaker setup.
The chief ministers agreed in principle that the elections of national and provincial assemblies will be held in the country on the same day for logistical, administrative, and financial reasons, which would also promote political harmony in the country, the prime minister office said.
It is the first time in Pakistan's over 60 years of history that an elected government has completed its five years term. Several governments had been dismissed before completion of constitutional term on various pretext because in the past the president had powers to dissolve the assembly.