Pakistan’s leading parties, minus jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s party, on Tuesday announced that they will try to form a coalition government led by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, ending speculation about the future form of the political set-up.
Though it was not explicitly announced as who would be the prime minister, PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif said he would request his elder brother and the 74-year-old party supremo Nawaz Sharif to become the premier for a record fourth time.
However, Shehbaz Sharif, 72, would likely lead a government like the one he headed after Imran Khan was voted out of power in April 2022.
Shehbaz Sharif along with Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) met at the residence of Shujaat Hussain of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) after a consultative meeting.
“Today we have united to tell the nation that we all accept the split mandate. I am thankful to Zardari and Bilawal that they decided for their party to vote for the PML-N,” he said and thanked the other gathered leaders as well.
To form a government, a party must win 133 seats out of 265 contested seats in the 266-member National Assembly.
The Election Commission of Pakistan has announced that independent candidates, a majority of them supported by the PTI secured 101 seats, followed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) with 75 seats, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) getting 54 seats, and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) bagging 17 seats.
Other parties got 17 seats while the result of one constituency was withheld.
Shehbaz Sharif said the new government would pull the cash-strapped country out of trouble.
“Now our war is against the country’s challenges. The first challenge is the economy. We have to stabilise it which is a tall task. Nations move forward when their leadership unites and decides to end conflicts and take the nation forward to eliminate problems,” he said.
Shehbaz Sharif also announced that his niece Maryam Nawaz, daughter of Nawaz Sharif, would be the party candidate for the chief minister of Punjab, sending rumours about the future of the Punjab government.
Earlier, Zardari said at the same press conference that a coalition government would be set up.
“We have decided to form a coalition government and pull the country out of the economic crisis,” he said and added that the new government would also try to reconcile with everyone, including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf of jailed former prime minister Khan.
He promised to deliver the country out of these troubles and lead on to the road to prosperity.
With the key parties getting together to form the new government, the transition from the election to the new government is likely to take place as per law by the end of this month.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)