ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – Government has strongly rejected the stance of former Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, who on Saturday called for the ruling party to appoint a caretaker premier in the absence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The former chief justice had earlier said that the Prime Minister cannot remain absent from the country for a long time, as this could lead to “constitutional anomalies”.

However, a spokesman of the Federal Government has said that the Prime Minister can nominate any cabinet member to chair meetings of the Cabinet and National Economic Council.

In a statement, he said under article-48 of the Constitution, in the exercise of his functions, the President shall act on and in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or the Prime Minister.

Under the article-3 a Prime Minister can take a leave of up to three months, he said.

The spokesman also pointed out that under the Constitution, the executive authority of the Federation is exercised in the name of the President by the Federal Government, consisting of the Prime Minister and the Federal Ministers.