With no party securing enough seats to form the next government without entering into a coalition—and the PTI indicating it will not join either the PPP or PMLN—leaders of the two erstwhile allies met on Sunday to formally discuss an alliance to form the government in the center.
According to unofficial results issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan, PTI-backed independent candidates in the National Assembly currently have a numerical majority with 92 wins; followed by the PMLN with 79 and the PPP in third with 54. As the prime minister’s election requires 169 votes, a “unified” coalition government is the only means to form the next government.
In line with a “victory” speech of PMLN leader Nawaz Sharif, party president Shehbaz Sharif led a delegation to Bilawal House in Lahore on Sunday, meeting PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and his father, Asif Ali Zardari, to initiate the process. In a joint statement, the two parties described the meeting as “constructive,” adding their discussions had assessed Pakistan’s overall situation, and deliberated on future political strategies. The two delegations, it said, had also exchanged recommendations to promote stability and national progress.
Asserting that their meeting was held in a cordial environment, the statement stressed both parties wished to prioritize national interest and well-being. “The leaders of both parties engaged in substantive discussions regarding the prevailing political landscape and the imperative of collaborative efforts for the betterment of the country,” it said, adding both sides agreed to establish a framework for “sustained political cooperation.”
Both parties also affirmed their dedication to steer the country away from political instability and towards a path of prosperity and resilience. The statement noted the combined numbers of the two parties showed a “majority” of the people supported them and vowed to fulfil the aspirations of the people and ensure their voices are heard.
Reportedly, the PMLN has urged the PPP to accept the slots of Senate chairman, National Assembly speaker and the president in exchange for it retaining the slot of prime minister. However, the PPP has reiterated it would prefer the slot of the prime minister, for which it has already announced Bhutto-Zardari as its candidate. According to PPP leaders, the matter would now be placed before its central executive committee, which would determine how to proceed.
Also on Sunday, the PMLN president contacted JUIF leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman to seek his party’s support for the formation of the federal government. Similarly, the party met a delegation of the MQM in Lahore and is expected to meet PMLQ chief Shujaat Hussain today (Monday).