Pakistan's outgoing prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, and the leader of the opposition will on Thursday meet to pick a caretaker leader to oversee a general election due by November, a government official said.
Sharif and opposition leader Raja Riaz will meet in the afternoon, said the official in the prime minister's office, who declined to be identified pending the announcement of the meeting.
Under the constitution, the two have three days to reach agreement on a caretaker. If they can't, the decision will go to a parliamentary committee, and if it can't, then the Election Commission of Pakistan will decide.
The lower house of parliament was dissolved on Wednesday, three days before the end of its five-year term on Aug. 12.
A general election in the South Asian country of 241 million people should be held in 90 days but it could be delayed for several months because the election commission has to redraw the boundaries of hundreds of constituencies based on a new census data.
Any delay could fuel public anger and add to uncertainty in the nuclear-armed country, analysts say.
Sharif led a coalition government of nearly a dozen parties after they voted out his predecessor, Imran Khan, whose party won the last election in 2018, in a no-confidence vote in parliament last year.
The former cricket star has been at the heart of months of political turmoil since he was ousted, raising new worries about stability. He has since been jailed in connection with a graft case and has, as a result, been barred from taking part in an election for five years.