Wednesday, April 24

Pakistan’s PML-N And PPP Reach Agreement On Forming Coalition Government

Edited by Fathimathu Shana

Political parties in Pakistan reached a formal agreement to form a new government. The agreement was reached after long wait mired in controversies. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party announced about jointly forming a new administration. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) called the coalition as “mandated thieves”.

Both PML-N and PPP won fewer seats than independent candidates who are loyal to the jailed former Prime Minister of the country, Imran Khan of PTI.

PML-N and PPP came to a full agreement six days after reaching an initial deal to form the coalition. Chairman of PPP, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said during press conference that the coalition aims at the country’s economic crisis.

Former Prime Minister and President of PML-N, Shahbaz Sharif pledged over “collective action to tackle economic and other challenges”.

The new agreement of the coalition between the parties suggest that Sharif would become Prime Minister for the second time with the backing of junior coalition partner. Asif Ali Zardari of PPP will be the coalition candidates for becoming the President, like he once was.

The parliamentary voting, which is required to elect the Prime Minister will take place by the end of February. The controversial parliamentary election that took place earlier this month failed to produce a desirable result. A separate election, for deciding on the President will take place in the coming weeks. It is not yet clarified on who will take up the major government posts.

Despite being behind the bars Imran Khan holds popularity. It was shown through the vote counting form the election on February 8. Since Khan was jailed, his candidates were forced to run independently and was backed by PTI, and emerged as the largest single block in the shock result.

However, the 93 seats won in the National Assembly fell short of the overall majority required to form government, which is 169 seats. This paved way for PML-N, led by Nawaz Sharif to form coalition with PPP.

PML-N won 75 seats and PPP won 54 seats. With the support of the smaller parties and seats reserved for women and religious minority representatives, it is believed that the coalition partners will have sufficient support form the government.

Both the parties were part of the coalition which dramatically forced out Imran Khan from his office in 2022. In January 2024, he was jailed for 10 years after being charged of leaking state secrets, which he denies.

PTI challenged the outcome of election in the courts and its supporters staged protest across the country.