Pakistan elections: PML-N to get PM's post. Who will be the new president? | World News - Hindustan Times
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Pakistan elections: PML-N to get PM's post. Who will be the new president?

Feb 15, 2024 01:53 PM IST

Since the February 8 elections yielded divided mandate, Pakistan has been without a government for nearly a week with no single party securing decisive majority

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Asif Ali Zardari is likely to be elected Pakistan's president for a second term after the PPP agreed to form a coalition government with Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), media reports stated.

Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif (L), PPP leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (R). (AFP/File)
Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif (L), PPP leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (R). (AFP/File)

The News International reported on Wednesday, quoting sources who are amid the negotiations between the PPP and PML-N, that it was likely that Pakistan would see a PML-N prime minister and PPP president.

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Since the February 8 elections yielded a divided mandate, Pakistan has been without a government for nearly a week. With no single party securing a decisive majority, the country is facing the prospect of a coalition government.

Both parties are scheduled to meet again on Thursday, with representatives from PML-N expected to join the discussion from other provinces, Pakistan-based news organisation Dawn reported.

Prime ministerial and presidential candidates

In a coalition between the PML-N and PPP, Shehbaz Sharif, the younger sibling of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is anticipated to assume the role of Pakistan's next prime minister.

On Wednesday, PPP leader Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari held a meeting of his party's contact and coordination committee in preparation for their upcoming meeting with counterparts from the PML-N, Dawn reported.

Asif Ali Zardari, 66-year-old PPP chief, also serves as the President of Pakistan between 2008 and 2013.

In a surprising move, the PML-N nominated 72-year-old Shehbaz Sharif as their candidate for prime minister instead of the party's leader Nawaz Sharif. Despite Nawaz's return to Pakistan last year after an exile in the UK, Shehbaz was chosen for the role.

The PML-N, along with PPP, MQM-P, PML-Q, IPP, and BAP, aims to form a coalition government resembling the Pakistan Democratic Movement's previous administration.

The coalition leaders addressed a press conference, responding to inquiries regarding the government's formation.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said during the conference that he wanted Asif Ali to become President “because the country is burning and if anyone can help put the fire out, it is Asif Ali Zardari”.

Other posts being negotiated amid PPP, PML-N

The News International, quoting sources, said that other than the presidency, PPP was also looking to hold the post of Balochistan's chief minister. Party leader Sarfraz Bugti also briefed members on the political situation of the province.

Dawn reported that Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Yousuf Raza Gilani showed an interest in re-taking the posts of speakers.

Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif is set to take the post of Punjab CM. However, three names have come up for the Sindh chief minister post — PPP leaders Faryal Talpur, Nasir Shah and Murad Ali Shah.

Speaking to Dawn, PPP leader Syed Khursheed Shah stated that the party would not pursue federal ministries but instead prioritise chairmanships of standing committees in the National Assembly. He said, “The ministries which will go to the PML-N, we will go for those standing committees.”

Imran Khan's PTI alleges PPP offered to form alliance

PTI leader Sher Afzal Marwat said on Wednesday that the PPP reached out to PTI through middlemen.

“The party’s leadership held a discussion over [Zardrai’s move] last night. The PPP hinted that the PTI can get its seats back under the due process of law,” he said as per Dawn.

However, PPP’s Kundi told Geo News, “If this is the PTI’s official stance, then a serious person should come forward and talk about it…If we had reached out to the PTI, we would have done it through proper channels.”

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