Imran Khan’s party to sit in opposition; rules out joining any coalition govt in Pakistan

The Election Commission of Pakistan has announced that independent candidates, a majority of them supported by the PTI secured 101 seats, followed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) with 75 seats, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) getting 54 seats, and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) bagging 17 seats. Other parties got 17 seats while the result of one constituency was withheld.Though the PTI initially claimed to form the government but its chances looked grim from the beginning as at least 169 seats, in the house of 336, were needed to form the government.A total of 266 seats are directly contested while 60 women-reserved seats and 10 minority seats are allocated based on proportional representation to the winning parties.As PTI was not allowed to contest as a single party with a common symbol, it was not qualified to get the reserved seats.The party hence decided to sit on the opposition benches, leaving the field open for PML-N and PPP as well as others to form a coalition, Gohar said, adding that the PTI would form a strong opposition.Gohar also cal­led out all those politicians who switched loyalties in the past, saying they had been rejected outright by the people in the February 8 elections.He said the party was looking into the matter of the PTI-backed independent Waseem Qadir joining the PML-N led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.“The rest of the independent candidates are in touch with us and will stay with us,” he asserted.He said that party founder and former premier Imran Khan had given instructions to form governments in the Centre, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Punjab provinces.“We will not remain outside or sit outside the assemblies. We have to sit in Parliament and find solutions to all problems there,” he said, ostensibly a veiled reference to the party’s 2014 sit-in outside Parliament as well as their decision to dissolve the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab assemblies in 2023 to force snap polls.Meanwhile, talks began between the two major parties for a coalition government soon after the results became available.Sources said that so far several open and behind-the-doors meetings have been held between the leaders of PML-N and PPP and other parties.“The main hurdle is who will lead the government as both parties are pushing forward their candidates but after a lot of discussion, some sort of middle ground may emerge,” according to a leader of the PML-N.

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