Pakistan without a govt 12 days after polls. When will the wait end? | World News - Hindustan Times
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Pakistan without a govt 12 days after polls. When will the wait end?

Feb 20, 2024 09:31 PM IST

PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said he foresees a stalemate in the formation of a coalition government.

Pakistan voted to elect its new government on February 8, an election marred by violence and allegations of widespread rigging. Even after 12 days, there is no clarity on who will head the new government in the country where the Army dominates the political discourse.

On Tuesday, the top leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) failed to reach a conclusion on the power-sharing deal after the elections to the 266-member National Assembly produced a hung verdict.

ALSO READ: Pakistan polls: Bilawal Bhutto reveals power-sharing formula offered by PML-N

PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said he foresees a stalemate in the formation of a coalition government. “If someone else wants to change their stance, there can be progress. If they are not ready to change it, I foresee a stalemate," Zardari, the son of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was quoted by PTI as saying.

Nawaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Imran Khan
Nawaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Imran Khan

According to a PTI report, Zardari's PPP has asked for key constitutional positions of president, senate chairperson and national assembly speaker in exchange for support to the PML(N).

ALSO READ: Pakistan poll rigging: High-level committee to probe allegations | Updates

Sources told PTI that 35-year-old Zardari was playing smartly and trying his best to force Sharifs' PML-N to withdraw from the coalition so that he could form a coalition government with the independents affiliated to ex-PM Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) who have joined the Sunni Ittehad Council.

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However, the jailed former prime minister's party has already ruled out possibility of supporting PPP.

“If I want to give the PML-N a vote, I will have to give it on my terms and not theirs. The delay [in forming the government] is because of non-seriousness,” Bilawal Zardari said.

Independent candidates backed by PTI won 93, emerging as the single largest group in the 266-member assembly. The PML-N won 75 seats while the PPP came third with 54 seats.

As per the PTI report, the all-powerful Pakistan Army would have to step up and PPP would be forced to join the coalition government with a share in the cabinet ahead of the February 29 assembly session.

(With PTI inputs)

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