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Shehbaz Sharif nominated as next Pakistan PM by new coalition alliance

Shehbaz Sharif nominated as next Pakistan PM by new coalition alliance

Islamabad: Shehbaz Sharif is expected to become Pakistan's new prime minister as the coalition of leading political parties led by him is set to comfortably cross the simple majority mark to form the next government, ending speculation about the future of the administration after elections produced a split mandate.

The party of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and its allies announced late Tuesday that they will jointly form a coalition government, ending the uncertainty since last week when no party won a simple majority in parliamentary elections.

The latest development came hours after Shehbaz Sharif along with Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui of Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) met at the residence of Shujaat Hussain of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) for a consultative meeting and agreed on government formation.

“Today we have united to tell the nation that we all accept the split mandate. I am thankful to Zardari and Bilawal (Bhutto) that they decided for their party to vote for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N),” he said and thanked the other gathered leaders as well.

PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb has said that party supremo Nawaz Sharif has nominated the party president and his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif, 72, for the post of the country's prime minister.

She added that PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz was nominated for the post of Punjab's chief minister.

Shehbaz, 72, who was prime minister after the Imran Khan-led government was ousted in April 2022, said the other parties that joined hands with the PML-N enjoyed “almost 2/3 majority” of the Parliament after the elections. He also said that the new government would pull the country out of trouble.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan's tally, the total number of general seats won by the six parties -- the PML-N, PPP, MQM-P, PML-Q, IPP (Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party) and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) which announced their plans to form a coalition led by Shehbaz -- comes to 152.

This clearly shows that these parties will easily achieve the minimum required number of 169 to form the government at the Centre after the addition of 60 women and 10 minority seats in their tally.

However, it is yet to be seen if these parties will be able to get to the next magic number of 224, which is required to obtain the elusive two-thirds majority in a 336-member National Assembly.

“Now our war is against the country's challenges. The first challenge is the economy. We have to stabilise it which is a tall task. Nations move forward when their leadership unites and decides to end conflicts and take the nation forward to eliminate problems,” he said.

Reacting to the latest political developments, jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party said that the best option for the PML-N is to “accept [its] defeat gracefully” and let their party founder Imran Khan “fix and heal the country”.

Independent candidates backed by the PTI won the most seats in Parliament.

Shehbaz also announced that his niece Maryam Nawaz, daughter of Nawaz Sharif, would be the party candidate for the chief minister of Punjab, ending rumours about the future of the Punjab government.

Earlier, Zardari said at the same press conference that a coalition government would be set up, which will “pull the country out of the economic crisis”. He added that the new government would also try to reconcile with everyone including the PTI party of Imran Khan.

The transition from the election to the new government is likely to take place as per law by the end of this month.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had on Tuesday withdrawn from the race for the prime minister, saying that his party would support the PML-N candidate for the premier's slot without being part of the government.

Earlier, the PTI party had decided to use the platform of two rightwing religious parties in its bid to form its federal government and in the provinces of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

PTI information secretary Raouf Hassan announced while addressing a press conference.

“PTI has decided to join Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) to form the government in the centre and in Punjab and Jamaati-e-Islami (JI) in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa,” he said, adding that the party was redoubling efforts to make government in the centre and Punjab.

With PTI inputs

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TAGS:Shehbaz SharifWorld NewsPakistan NewsPak PM Election
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