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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

PPP Backs PMLN for PM, Shehbaz Sharif Signals Opposition Formation if Independents Form Gov.

PPP supports PML-N's PM candidate, opts out of cabinet; Shehbaz Sharif hints at opposition role if independents govern.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari announced the party’s support for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate for the prime minister’s position. However, Bilawal clarified that the PPP wouldn’t become part of the cabinet, citing insufficient numbers to form its own government.

PPP’s decision comes amidst discussions on government formation, as the February 8 general elections did not yield a clear majority for any party. With the PTI-backed independent candidates securing the most seats, the formation of the next government remains uncertain.

PTI’s Response

PTI’s spokesperson, in a statement issued on Tuesday, labeled Bilawal’s move as a deceptive tactic aimed at masking PPP’s electoral defeat. Accusing remnants of PDM of engineering this new spectacle, the spokesperson condemned their actions as an endeavor to deceive the populace.

The PTI spokesperson further asserted that if Bilawal’s intentions were genuinely democratic, he would have acknowledged the prevailing public mandate in favor of PTI, rather than aligning with the Sharif family, whom he referred to as the “pirates of Jati Umrah.” Criticizing PPP’s track record concerning the acknowledgment of public mandates, the spokesperson highlighted what they perceive as a dark history in this regard.

PML-N’s Stance on Government Formation

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif expressed readiness for opposition role while welcoming PTI-sponsored or non-PTI-sponsored candidates to form a government. Shehbaz emphasized the importance of playing the constitutional role and stressed that baseless allegations against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) only undermine the electoral process.

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Amid allegations and speculations, Shehbaz affirmed PML-N’s position as the largest political party, highlighting the significance of political parties’ representation in governance. The party’s stance remains firm on playing the opposition role if independent candidates proceed to form the government.

The general elections saw a significant presence of independent candidates, securing 101 seats in the National Assembly. While PML-N won 75 seats and PPP secured 54, the spotlight remains on independent candidates and their potential role in government formation. As discussions unfold and negotiations continue, Pakistan’s political future hinges on collaborative efforts and strategic alignments among key stakeholders.