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Is Grand Opposition Alliance in disarray?

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It seems as if the alliance of opposition is having to deal with internal fissures as it emerged late on Wednesday that there isn’t a united front on the nomination for the office of the Prime Minister. This development is set to make Imran Khan’s election as Prime Minister all the easier.

The total seats won by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf rose to 158 after the addition of 33 reserved seats. 28 of these seats are reserved for women and five of them for minorities. It won 116 seats in the general elections. 9 independents also joined the PTI later on. The reserved seats in the National Assembly are allocated to parties in proportion to the number of seats on the national polls. Along with the coalition of parties, the PTI now has more than enough seats to elect its head as the Prime Minister.

Shahbaz Sharif has made remarks against Asif Ali Zardari before that were deemed derogatory and disrespectful by the PPP. If the PML-N refuses to show flexibility, Imran Khan will be the next prime minister relatively easily

The Prime Minister is elected by Members of the National Assembly in accordance with the Second Schedule of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007. The candidate for the office of PM has to be an MNA and his nomination has to be proposed by a fellow member of the national assembly and seconded by another lawmaker. There has to be a proposer and a seconder.

In Imran Khan’s case, it was the leader of the Awami Muslim League Sheikh Rasheed who filed his nomination papers. A simple majority is needed in the National Assembly to elect the PM. From the outset, it appears as though the PTI leader will be elected Prime Minister by a healthy margin of at least 30 votes in the National Assembly. That is, of course, unless the opposition can do something about it.

Read more: Grand opposition alliance ready to challenge Imran’s next government

There are eleven parties in the grand alliance that constitutes the opposition. The Pakistan Muslim League-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party are the largest parties, with 64 and 43 seats respectively. A rift emerged in the opposition and has been widening over time when the PML-N nominated its leader, brother of the deposed Prime Minister, Shahbaz Sharif, for the office of the Prime Minister on behalf of the opposition.

The PPP has asked the PML-N leadership to review its decision. However, senior leaders of the PML-N, such as Mushahid Hussain maintain that the decision to nominate Shahbaz Sharif is final. According to the PML-N, the nominee for PM was supposed to be from the PML-N, the speaker from the PPP and the deputy speaker from the Mutahhida Majlis-i-Amal. The PPP, on the other hand, argues that there needs to be a joint nominee for PM from all opposition parties.

Read more: MQM in disarray

Talks are underway to resolve these differences. The vote for the Prime Minister takes place on Friday. Shahbaz Sharif has made remarks against Asif Ali Zardari before that were deemed derogatory and disrespectful by the PPP. If the PML-N refuses to show flexibility, Imran Khan will be the next prime minister relatively easily. Many commentators said after the elections that the government is a very weak one. However, that might change if the opposition parties continue to fail to show a united front.


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