Pakistan Elections: PML-N, PPP in Negotiations for Power-Sharing Deal

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By ETV Bharat English Team

Published : Feb 12, 2024, 10:45 PM IST

With the final Pakistan election results now being out, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) is engaged in negotiations to form a coalition government with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, son of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and former President Asif Ali Zardari.

Though the full results of the Pakistan national elections have finally been declared, negotiations and meetings between different parties and stakeholders are continuing regarding the formation of the new government, writes ETV Bharat’s Aroonim Bhuyan.

New Delhi: With the final Pakistan election results now being out, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) is engaged in negotiations to form a coalition government with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, son of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and former President Asif Ali Zardari.

This comes even as former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI)-backed independent candidates emerged as the largest entity in the final results declared after days of delay since polling was held on February 8. According to the figures released by the Election Commission of Pakistan, PTI-backed independents won 92 of the 266 directly-elected seats in the National Assembly, the PML-N 75 and the PPP 54.

As is well known, Imran Khan is now anathema to the Pakistan Army. His PTI was denied the cricket bat election symbol by the Election Commission of Pakistan citing irregularities in internal party elections. Imran Khan has also been barred from contesting the elections after he was jailed for three criminal cases against him.

Given that the PTI-backed independents have now emerged as the largest entity in the Pakistan elections, it is learnt that the party will now again go for internal party elections so that there can be legitimacy in claiming power. Senior PTI leader Gohar Ali Khan has claimed that his party-backed candidates are in a position to form a government on their own and would not need to form a coalition government either with the PML-N or the PPP.

However, late on Monday evening, both the PML-N and the PPP were engaged in hard negotiations for a power-sharing deal. “If a deal is arrived at, former Prime Minister and Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shehbaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will share the prime ministership for two equal halves of the new government’s five-year term,” a source in Pakistan told ETV Bharat.

“In such a scenario, Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz will be made the chief minister of Punjab province,” the source said. As ETV Bharat had reported, Nawaz Sharif is not inclined to be the prime minister of a coalition government. In case the PML-N and the PPP arrive at a deal, then Pakistan will see a coalition government similar to the one that was in power ahead of the elections after Imran Khan was ousted as Prime Minister. In that government, Shehbaz Sharif was the Prime Minister and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was the Foreign Minister.

Meanwhile, the PPP’s Central Executive Committee meeting was held in Islamabad under the leadership of Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Dawn reported citing a party statement. “The participants of the meeting expressed their confidence in the leadership of the party and discussed a myriad of topics including the general elections and the way forward,” the report stated.

At the same time, Imran Khan’s PTI is also going ahead with strategising to form the government at the Centre as well in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces. According to reports, PTI leaders held a meeting with Pakistan President Arif Alvi on Monday and briefed him on the alleged irregularities during the recently held general elections.

The Express Tribune, citing a statement issued by the President’s office, reported that Alvi met with PTI leaders Raoof Hassan and Umer Niazi, who “pointed out evident irregularities during the February 8 polls”. With negotiations and meetings continuing between different parties and stakeholders, the process of government formation in India’s western neighbour remains fluid.

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  2. Imran Khan's Party to Sit in Opposition; Rules out Joining Any Coalition Govt: Top Leader
  3. Ex-Pak PM Nawaz Sharif's PML-N Floats Idea of 'Participatory Coalition Government': Report
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