PPP, PML-N finally reach new coalition govt deal in Pakistan

Islamabad: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan Peoples Party have finally reached an agreement to form a new coalition government after days of intense negotiations, senior party leaders have announced.

In a joint news conference this week, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari announced that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif, 72, is set to assume the role of the Prime Minister once again. At the same time, PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari, 68, is slated to become the country’s President again.

“The PPP and PML-N have achieved the required number, and [now] we are in a position to form the government,” Bilawal told reporters. He said former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party-backed candidates and Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) failed to achieve a simple majority in Parliament to form government in the Centre.

Bilawal hoped that the news of the political alliance with the PML-N to form a coalition government would lead to a positive market response as the cash-strapped country faced a hung Parliament after the February 8 elections.

Independent candidates – a majority backed by 71-year-old Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party — won 93 National Assembly seats. Speaking on the occasion, Shehbaz Sharif asserted that his PML-N now has the “required numbers” with the PPP to be in a position to form the next government as he thanked the leadership of the two parties for the positive conclusion to the talks.

The former prime minister emphasized the unity between the two parties, noting that they were well-positioned to form the government at the Centre, The Express Tribune newspaper reported. The PML-N won 75 seats while the PPP came third with 54 seats. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has also agreed to support them with their 17 seats.

To form a government, a party must win 133 out of 265 contested seats in the 266-member National Assembly or the lower house of Parliament. Meanwhile, in a post on X, 71-year-old Khan’s PTI hit out at the newly cemented PPP, PML-N alliance as “PDM 2.0” “PDM 2.0 = #MandateThieves.”

The announcement of the alliance came a day after the latest round of talks between the top leaders of the two parties ended inconclusively on Monday as both sides failed to reach a consensus on a power-sharing formula to form a coalition government.



Official admits involvement in rigging election results

A senior bureaucrat in Pakistan has said he helped rig Pakistan’s elections, a week after polls were marred by allegations of rigging. Liaqat Ali Chattha, the commissioner of the garrison city of Rawalpindi, where the country’s powerful military has its headquarters, said he would hand himself over to the police and step down from his position.

“We converted the losers into winners, reversing margins of 70,000 votes in 13 national assembly seats,” he told reporters, also implicating the head of the election commission and the country’s top judge.

According to Pakistan’s Dawn News, the commissioner admitted he was “deeply involved in serious crime like mega election rigging 2024” and said that “stabbing the country in its back” does not allow him sleep. “I should be punished for the injustice I have done and others who were involved in this injustice should also be punished,” he added.

Image courtesy of britannica.com

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