Pakistan Elections

Pakistan Election: With No Clear Winner, Horse Trading On Course

Pakistan Elections

Even though the counting of votes was underway and no clear winner in sight, the major political parties in Pakistan held meetings on Friday night aiming to wrangle sufficient numbers to form governments in the Centre and the four provinces, Dawn reported.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif in his Friday remarks that he had tasked his brother, former PM Shehbaz Sharif, to reach out to major parties such as the PPP, MQM-P and others to form an alliance.

Notably, PML-N and PPP were the two major parties in the ruling coalition government in Pakistan after Imran Khan’s ouster in April 2022. But, the two parties were at loggerheads during the intense electoral campaign. However, as the counting is nearing an end, no part has reached majority and would need to forge a coalition.

According to the provisional results released by the Election Commission of Pakistan, the independent candidates, mostly backed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) are leading on 91 seats followed by PML-N and PPP at 71 and 54 respectively.

On the other hand, the unofficial results reported by Geo News on 255 out of 265 seats show the independents leading on 100 seats, followed by PML-N and PPP at 73 and 54 respectively.

Shehbaz met with PPP leaders Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, at the residence of Punjab caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi in the late hours of Friday, Dawn reported citing sources.

“The meeting was a kind of beginning of something big,” a PPP source said, indicating that they discussed the results of the polls and the post-election situation.

Before the general elections, the MQM-P had announced that it would support Nawaz Sharif as the prime ministerial candidate after elections. However, the dismal performance of the PML-N provided the MQM-P an opportunity to rethink, as Haque refused to comment when reminded about his party’s electoral deal with the N-league, as reported by Dawn.

Separately, MQM-P convener Siddiqui invited all independent candidates who won the elections to join his party.

“Although we don’t have a briefcase our doors are open for all independent candidates,” he told a press conference.

Earlier, amid the Election Commission of Pakistan drawing flak over the delay in declaration of the results of the general elections, former PM and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan on Saturday released a ‘victory speech’ in his AI-enabled voice, saying that the ‘London Plan’ of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif failed with the massive turnout of voters on polling day, as he also claimed victory in the general elections.

However, heavy speculations have been raised on how free and fair the elections were in nature. The United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union have separately expressed concerns about Pakistan’s electoral process over violence, “lack of level playing field” and internet outage. (ANI)

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