No name for Pakistan PM yet as major political players continue talks to form government

Feb 12, 2024



Islamabad: the key to Pakistan political players The name of the country has not been finalized new prime minister Even after the controversial national and provincial elections, considered the most rigged in the history of Pakistan, discussions have been going on between them for four days.
So far, the names of former PM Nawaz Sharif (74), his brother former PM Shahbaz Sharif (72) and former Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (35) have appeared thrice.
However, followers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) want to see their jailed party chief Imran Khan back in office, a wish that may not be fulfilled in the current situation.
PTI-backed independent candidates have so far won 93 National Assembly seats, the most by any party, but far short of the simple majority of 169 seats needed to form the federal government. Despite strong support from the powerful military establishment, the Nawaz Sharif-led PML-N finished second with 75 seats.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led by former foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari stood third with 54 seats. Another important stakeholder in political operations and behavior is the Karachi-based Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) with 17 seats. The remaining MLAs are from small parties with one or two votes.
To form the government at the Centre, a possible scenario could be that the PML-N forms an alliance with the PPP and some smaller parties. The two parties have enjoyed a working relationship since they jointly ruled the country for 18 months following the ouster of Imran Khan's government in April 2022. Reports suggest that to win the post of PM, PML-N has offered the posts of President, NA Speaker and Senate Chairman. To PPP.
Delegations from their parties led by former presidents Asif Ali Zardari and Shehbaz Sharif had met in Lahore on Sunday. This was the second meeting between the two politicians.
It seems that PPP is taking time to consider its options apart from demanding the PM post for Bilawal.
With the current number of seats, PTI can form the government only by forming an alliance with PML-N or PPP, but this seems unlikely. The PPP has said that its doors are open to all for consultation. Imran's media advisor Zulfi Bukhari told the media that there is every possibility that if PTI fails to gather majority then it will sit in the opposition instead of forming an alliance. Unsuccessful PTI candidates have filled the courts with claims of vote rigging. PTI supporters have also demonstrated in front of Election Commission offices across the country.
According to law, the National Assembly, the lower house of Pakistan, must be summoned by the President within three weeks of the election. The first matter for the newly elected MPs will be to elect the Speaker. After this the new Speaker will demand the election of the Leader of the House or the Prime Minister. To become Prime Minister a simple majority is required – 169 out of 336 seats (formerly 342).
There can be many candidates for PM. If no candidate gets a majority in the first round, a second vote is held between the top two contenders.
Once a Prime Minister is elected, he or she takes the oath of office and announces the cabinet. Interim arrangements for monitoring the elections are then handed over to the new government.
Parties are allocated 70 reserved seats in proportion to the number of seats won by each party – 60 for women, 10 for non-Muslims. Independents are not eligible for reserved seats.



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