Shehbaz Sharif takes center stage in Pakistan's post-election coalition

Pakistani election results: However, this alliance raises many questions about leadership.

New Delhi:

In the wake of the 2024 Pakistani elections, the two major political players, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Sharif led by Nawaz Sharif, and the Pakistan Peoples Party led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, announced the formation of a coalition to form a collective government. Rule the nation.

Despite winning the largest number of seats as independent candidates, Imran Khan's party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), falls short of a majority, prompting the PML-N and the Pakistan People's Party to join hands in order to try to form the government. However, this alliance raises many questions about leadership, distribution of key roles, and the overall viability of the partnership.

Key players and positions

A press conference to announce the coalition on Tuesday was attended by prominent leaders, including Shehbaz Sharif of the PML-N, Asif Ali Zardari of the Pakistan Peoples Party, and representatives of other smaller parties. Shehbaz Sharif, president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has emerged as a potential candidate for the post of Prime Minister and expressed his willingness to bring Imran Khan's Tehreek-e-Insaf into the government for the betterment of the country.

The decision taken by the Pakistan Peoples Party to withdraw its leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari from the race for prime minister indicates a strategic move to mobilize support for the PML-N. according to dawnBilawal Bhutto Zardari admitted that the mandate given to his party to lead the government was insufficient. The scion of the Bhutto-Zardari clan explained that the Pakistan Peoples Party rejected an alliance with the Tehreek-e-Insaf and accepted the invitation of the PML-N, pointing out the Tehreek-e-Insaf’s refusal to cooperate.

PML-N leader Maryam Aurangzeb announced that Nawaz Sharif (74 years old) nominated his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif (72 years old) to be the next choice for Pakistani Prime Minister.

She said in a statement, “Nawaz Sharif thanked the political parties that provided support to the PML-N (in forming the next government) and expressed his hope that Pakistan would emerge from crises through such decisions.”

However, Imran Khan, currently imprisoned on corruption charges, has ruled out cooperation, paving the way for potential political tensions. The distribution of key positions within the coalition remained unclear, leaving room for negotiations and speculation.

Preparation

The coalition faces the challenge of forming a government with the required minimum of 169 seats, potentially obtaining a two-thirds majority of 224 seats in Pakistan's 336-member National Assembly.

The Election Commission of Pakistan has confirmed that the Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition, which includes the PML-N, Pakistan Peoples Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, Muslim League-Q, Independent Party and Bab-e-Taqadd Party, has won a total of 152 seats. year in the last elections. according to dawnWith the addition of 60 women and 10 minority seats, the coalition is poised to exceed the minimum requirement of 169 seats to form a government.

However, the crucial hurdle remains reaching 224 seats to obtain a two-thirds majority in the 336-member Assembly.

The fate of the reserved seats depends on the decisions of 101 independents, including 92 PTI-backed independents, who emerged victorious.

Internal dynamics

The PML-N's announcement of Shehbaz Sharif as its prime ministerial candidate initially indicated a preference for Nawaz Sharif's return to office. Later, it was clarified that Nawaz Sharif supported Shehbaz as leader. In addition, Maryam Nawaz, Nawaz Sharif's daughter, was selected as the coalition's candidate for the position of Chief Minister of Punjab province.

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Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, has called for inclusivity by proposing talks with Imran Khan's PTI movement.

Challenges and unanswered questions

The joint press conference left several questions unanswered, creating uncertainty about the coalition's stability and ability to form an effective government. The absence of details about the distribution of key roles and the process of forming the government underscores the need for further negotiations between the coalition partners.

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Image source: Agence France-Presse

Allegations of voter fraud during the election, with the country's mobile phone network shut down on Election Day, have added an element of controversy. Imran Khan announced plans to challenge the election results in the Supreme Court.

The success of this coalition in forming the next government depends on effective negotiations, internal cohesion, and addressing the challenges posed by allegations of election irregularities.

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