ISLAMABAD: After two days of grueling electoral process, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Friday claimed to have attained enough seats to form government at the Centre.
As unofficial results continue to trickle in and until the filing of this report, the PTI tally has increased to 115 National Assembly seats in a house of 272. Elections on two National Assembly seats have been withheld.
The PTI said it will form the government with the help of smaller coalition partners and nearly half-a-dozen parliamentarians elected independently, who the party claims are ready to join it in the coming days.
With the party sure of its position at the Centre, it has now focused all its energies to win over loyalties of independent MPAs from Punjab to achieve the required strength to form government in the country’s largest province.
A neck-and-neck competition between the PTI and former ruling party PML-N has been witnessed in Punjab and both the parties are now trying to persuade over two dozen independent MPAs from the province to join their respective parties in a bid to claim majority.
Although the PML-N has emerged as the single largest party in Punjab, the PTI is vying to form the government there with the help of independents and its coalition partners.
Government at Centre
In the latest development, Saleh Muhammad, who was elected independently from NA-13 (Mansehra) on Friday announced joining the PTI after meeting PTI Chief Imran Khan at his residence at Bani Gala. So PTI collectively has 116 seats.
Its allies — including the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) — has four seats, Balochistan Awami Party has three seats, Sheikh Rashid’s Awami Muslim League has one seat, Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) has two seats. So collectively all these four partners have 10 seats.
With the help of smaller coalition partners, the PTI’s strength has reached 126. To get simple majority, the PTI now required another 11 seats and the party is hopeful it would be done by Saturday (today).
Senior PTI leader Jehangir Khan Tareen on Friday contacted the MQM-Pakistan leadership and both the sides have decided to hold a meeting to discuss possible alliance at the Centre.
The MQM-P has six MNAs. In addition, a total of 13 independent MNAs have been elected so far from across the country.
Addressing a news conference, PTI Information Secretary Fawad Chaudhry said that the party leadership was in contact with independent MNAs and majority of them would announce their joining the PTI soon.
“There are six independent candidates-elect who were fully supported by the PTI in their respective elections and there exists an understanding that they will join the PTI after winning the elections,” Chaudhry said.
He said, “The PTI is in a comfortable position to claim majority and form the next federal government.”
He said coalition partners will be given their due share in the future federal cabinet.
On Punjab, Chaudhry said the PTI has so far contacted around 21 independent MPAs and the majority of them are willing to join the PTI.
“We are hopeful that the majority of the independents would opt to join PTI in Punjab,” he said.
To a question about the nomination of candidate for the slot of the Punjab chief minister he said the slot would not be given to allied parties rather a PTI MPA will be nominated for the post.
Talking about Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, he said “The PTI enjoys two-thirds majority in the provincial assembly.”
He said given the present number the PTI has no need to seek support of PPP in Punjab or at the centre.
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