As of the last week of September, President Arif Alvi of Islamabad is nearing the end of his term. However, the constitution clearly allows him to continue serving in his capacity until the selection of his successor, regardless of how much time remains in his term.
During the recent period, legal and constitutional experts have held varying opinions on different legal matters, leading to significant disputes. The current situation regarding President Arif’s continued service in his role beyond the completion of his term is an issue that has been settled in the constitution, and there is no provision in the constitution that specifies a particular time limit for a president to step down after completing their term.
Nevertheless, if he chooses to resign from his position upon the completion of his term, the constitution provides a clear mechanism for the appointment of his replacement. So far, President Arif has not indicated whether he will step down or continue in his role.
President Arif Alvi’s five-year term is set to end on September 9th. According to Article 44(1) of the constitution, a president will continue to serve in the role from the date of taking the oath until five years, and if his successor is not elected by then, he will remain in office until the new president is chosen.
The person elected to fill the role of the president in the absence of the president is eligible to hold the position only for two consecutive terms, as per the constitution.
According to the constitution, the President’s office includes the Electoral College consisting of members from both houses of Parliament (the Senate and the National Assembly) and members from all provincial assemblies. The constitution allows for the election to be held within two months of the president’s term ending, but due to an incomplete Electoral College, it was not possible to elect a new president immediately after the previous government’s term.
If the assemblies are dissolved, preventing the election of a new president, this election will be held within 30 days of the next general elections.
President Alvi has decided to continue in his role despite the expiration of his term, which means he will retain all the powers associated with his position, including granting general pardons, granting reprieves, and reducing sentences imposed by any court, tribunal, or other authority.