Shehbaz Sharif likely to become Pakistan prime minister as coalition led by him is set to cross simple majority mark : The Tribune India

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Shehbaz Sharif likely to become Pakistan prime minister as coalition led by him is set to cross simple majority mark

In a surprise move, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Tuesday night nominated Shehbaz as the prime ministerial candidate instead of the party supremo and three-time former premier Nawaz Sharif

Shehbaz Sharif likely to become Pakistan prime minister as coalition led by him is set to cross simple majority mark

Shehbaz Sharif at a press conference in Lahore. AP/PTI



PTI

Islamabad, February 14

Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of former premier Nawaz Sharif, is expected to become Pakistan's new prime minister as the coalition of leading political parties led by them is set to comfortably cross the simple majority mark to form the next government after elections produced a split mandate.

In a surprise move, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Tuesday night nominated Shehbaz as the prime ministerial candidate instead of the party supremo and three-time former premier Nawaz Sharif.

Earlier, Shehbaz along with Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan Peoples Party and 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 PML-N,” he said.

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.

"Nawaz Sharif has thanked the political parties which provided support to the PML-N (in forming the upcoming government) and expressed hope that through such decisions Pakistan will come out of crises," she said.

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 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 (NA).

“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.

The PML-N reportedly enjoys the backing of the powerful Pakistan Army.

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.

PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan said on Tuesday that his party had won 180 seats across the country, and the name of the party's prime ministerial candidate would be announced by Thursday.

During a conversation with the media, after meeting with the party's founding chairman and former premier Khan in Adiala Jail, along with other PTI leaders, he said that they had secured all three NA seats in Islamabad and an additional four seats in Balochistan.

Zardari speaking alongside Shehbaz said that a coalition government would be set up.

“We have decided to form a coalition government and pull the country out of the economic crisis,” he said and added that the new government would also try to reconcile with everyone including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party of Imran Khan.

He promised to deliver the country out of these troubles and lead on to the road to prosperity. 

#Nawaz Sharif #Pakistan #Shehbaz Sharif


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