Pakistani Elections: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party joins the religious parties, and the Pakistan Peoples Party supports its competitor, the Pakistan Muslim League | Politics news

Islamabad, Pakistan – Five days after Pakistan’s general elections, two opposing parties, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), announced plans to… Formation of the government – With the PTI allying itself with religious parties and the PPP supporting the rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN).

The PTI leadership announced on Tuesday that its independent candidates will try to form a federal government and another in Punjab province by joining a coalition with the minority party Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen.

The party also said that its candidates in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province would ally with another religious party, Jamaat-e-Islami, to form the government.

Thursday’s elections resulted in a divided state with no party gaining a majority in the National Assembly. Independent candidates belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party led by imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan won the largest number of seats. But to form a government, they still have to be part of a political party or coalition.

Announcing the coalition plan on Tuesday, PTI spokesman Rauf Hassan said he had been tasked by Khan to reach out to all political parties other than the PPP, PML-N and Muttahida Qaumi Movement, or MQM.

“Imran Khan has a clear message that forming the government is the right of the winner of the elections,” Hassan said at a press conference in Islamabad.

Former cricketer Khan was ousted from power in a parliamentary vote of no confidence in April 2022. The PTI was also forced to field its candidates as independents after its electoral symbol, the cricket bat, was stripped from it in January for violating election laws.

Khan stressed that he would not deal with the Pakistan Muslim League, which served as prime minister three times, Nawaz Sharif, or the Pakistan People’s Party, led by former Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, describing them as corrupt.

Alleged vote tampering

In Thursday’s exit polls, PTI-backed candidates came out on top with 93 seats in the National Assembly, while the PML-N was the single largest party with 75 seats. The Pakistan People’s Party came in third place with 54 seats.

Any party or coalition to form a government needs a simple majority of 134 seats in the National Assembly out of 266 seats voted on during the general elections.

In addition to the 266 directly elected seats, an additional 60 seats were allocated for women and 10 seats for minorities.

These seats are distributed among the parties according to the percentage of seats they won, but independents will not get these quota seats.

While two parties can form a coalition while retaining their individual identities and policies, independent candidates, once they join a party, must adhere to the discipline and decisions of that party.

PTI insisted that its single majority was stolen in the election due to alleged tampering and vote-rigging.

Lawyer Gohar Ali Khan, PTI’s interim party president, said on Tuesday that PTI believes it has won 180 seats, instead of 93. “We will share a white paper with all the details,” he added.

Neither Hassan nor Gohar Ali Khan said who the party’s candidates would be for the position of prime minister, speaker and deputy speaker.

Public-private partnership support for PMLN

Hours after the PTI’s announcement, the PPP said it would cooperate with the PML-N in its own efforts to form a government, but said the PPP had decided not to play any role in the government.

Bhutto Zardari, chairwoman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, said that her party will endorse and endorse the PML-N candidate for prime minister.

He said that he would not put his name forward for prime minister.

“We do not have a mandate to form a government in the federation, and therefore I will not put myself forward to run for the position of prime minister,” he said during a press conference in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that his party will support the PML-N candidate for prime minister.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari says his party will support the PML-N’s candidate for prime minister (Waqar Hussain/EPA)

Bhutto Zardari expressed his desire to see his father, former President Asif Ali Zardari, return to the position while also announcing that the party would field candidates for the posts of Senate President and National Assembly Speaker.

“We held these elections based on the statement based on public importance, we want to restore political stability and we want to end this environment of political poison,” the PPP chief said.

“Politics of confrontation”

Political analyst Benazir Shah said that the Pakistan People’s Party’s decision seemed like a smart move.

The Pakistan Peoples Party has been trying to make inroads into Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, for the past few years. “This is an opportunity for them to spend the next five years mobilizing their party in the province, especially since the election results show the weakness of the PML-N’s vote bank,” she told Al Jazeera.

“The PPP has its eyes on 2029, not 2024.”

On the PTI movement, analyst Mahal Sarfaraz said the party should ensure that its winning candidates join the MWM so that party discipline applies to them and they cannot jump ship.

But she questioned Imran Khan for his refusal to deal with other political parties.

“This is not about any principle. This is about Khan’s narrative of hatred against these parties and his divisive politics. It is unfortunate that PTI is not willing to talk to any other major political party. Democracy is also about coexistence and tolerance of other people’s point of view, but PTI’s policy It’s basically “either with us or against us”.

Shah agreed with this view, saying that while the election results show that Pakistani voters want to see the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party in power, Khan appears to still be insisting on a “politics of confrontation.”

She added: “His refusal to sit down with the Pakistan People’s Party to form a government indicates that Khan is still not ready to sit down with political parties for the greater good of democracy.”

Sarfraz believes that under these circumstances, the PPP made the right decision by joining the PML-N alliance, adding that it is the PML-N that needs the PPP, not the other way around.

No party has enough numbers to form a government on its own. Ideally, the PPP would have wanted Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to be the leader of the opposition. But options are limited, especially because of the tough stance adopted by the PTI movement. “So this is the only thing they could have done,” the Lahore-based analyst said.

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