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HomeWorldNawaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in race to become Pakistan's next...

Nawaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in race to become Pakistan’s next prime minister

Top leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan People’s Party have discussed a new power-sharing formula to split the five-year term between them, as efforts to form a coalition government accelerated on 12 February after a split verdict in the election.

Even though independent candidates backed by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party won the most seats in Parliament, questions are being raised about what Pakistan’s next government will look like.

None of the three main parties, the PML-N, the PPP or the PTI, have won the necessary seats in the February 8 general elections to secure a majority in the National Assembly and will therefore not be able to form a government by yes alone. , leaving it unclear who will be chosen as the cash-strapped country’s next prime minister.

To form a government, a party must win 133 of the 265 seats up for grabs in the 266-member National Assembly.

Coalition talks

The PML-N and PPP leaders discussed the idea of ​​appointing a mid-term Prime Minister during their first meeting after the elections on Sunday as part of their efforts to form a coalition government at the center and the provinces. according to a source familiar with the development. “It has been proposed that a PML-N candidate serve as Prime Minister for three years and PPP leader for two years,” the source said, adding that it is yet to be decided who will get the first term.

The meeting was attended by PPP Parliamentary Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, PPP Chairman Bilawal-Bhutto Zardari and former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of the PML-N.

The same power-sharing formula was chalked out by the PML-N and the National Party (NP) in Balochistan in 2013, when two Chief Ministers of the two parties held office for half of the five-year term.

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif is still in the race for the prime minister’s post even though his party failed to win a simple majority in Pakistan’s February 8 general election, some PML-N leaders said. February 12. PPP on power-sharing formula in next coalition government at Center and Nawaz Sharif cannot be ruled out as prime ministerial candidate,” PML-N senator Irfan Saddique told a private news channel .

He said 74-year-old Nawaz Sharif is the candidate for the post of Prime Minister of the PML-N.

The PML-N is also considering proposing Mr. Shehbaz Sharif as a candidate for the post of Prime Minister in place of Mr. Nawaz Sharif, who was about to become Prime Minister for a record fourth time, but had to change his position. opinion because he was not interested. to lead a coalition government.

Who will lead the government?

At Sunday’s meeting at Bilawal House in Lahore, the two sides agreed in principle to cooperate for the country’s political stability after the general elections, sources said. They confirmed that several open and closed-door meetings have been held so far between the leaders of the PML-N and the PPP and other parties, as the powerful Pakistan Army has also indicated that they will support a unity government to lead the country out of the conflict. . the challenges he faced.

“The main obstacle is who will lead the government as both parties are pushing their candidates, but after many discussions, some kind of middle ground may emerge,” according to a PML-N leader.

A PPP leader said the party was not backing down from its demand for Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to be Prime Minister because the PPP Central Executive Committee (CEC) had endorsed him for the post even before the elections.

The Election Commission of Pakistan has announced that independent candidates, most of them supported by the PTI, won 101 seats, followed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) with 75 seats, the Pakistan People’s Party with 54 seats and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. -Pakistan (MQM-P) with 17 seats.

Other parties won 17 seats, while the result of one constituency was retained.

PTI leaders meet the president

Although the PTI initially claimed that it would form the government, its chances looked bleak from the start, as at least 169 seats, in the house of 336, were needed to form the government. A total of 266 seats are directly contested, while 60 seats reserved for women and 10 minority seats are allocated on the basis of proportional representation of the winning parties.

Since the PTI was not allowed to compete as a single party with a common symbol, it was not qualified to win the reserved seats. The party decided to sit in the opposition seats, leaving the field open for PML-N and PPP as well as others to form a coalition, party leader Barrister Gohar Ali Khan said, adding that the PTI would form an opposition strong.

“We are not comfortable with both (PML-N and PPP). There will be no conversations with anyone to form a government or to form a government together with them. It is better to be part of the opposition than to form a government (with them), but we believe we have the majority,” Khan said. Dawn News on February 11.

Meanwhile, PTI leaders met President Dr Arif Alvi on February 12 and informed him about the alleged irregularities during the recently held general elections. According to a statement issued by the President’s office, Dr Alvi met PTI leaders Raoof Hassan and Umer Niazi, during which they briefed the President about the glaring irregularities during the elections.

Political ups and downs in Pakistan have entered an interesting phase and the shape of the new system is expected to be decided in the coming days.

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