Pakistan Election: PMLN and PPP forming coalition government

Pakistan's two political parties have reached a formal agreement to form a new government following a contentious election campaign. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have agreed to support each other in a new administration. On February 8, both parties won fewer seats than candidates loyal to jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Photo: Pakistan Elections 2024

On X, Mr Khan's PTI party referred to the coalition as "mandate thieves".His movement claims that the vote was rigged to keep his supporters out of power.

The PMLN and PPP have announced a full agreement to form a coalition, more than six days after reaching an initial deal. The coalition aims to address the country's economic crisis, and former PMLN President Shahbaz Sharif pledged collective action to tackle economic and other challenges.

Pakistan's Supreme Court has dismissed a plea for the annulment of the February 8 general elections

In other news, Pakistan's Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking new elections over alleged irregularities in the February 8 polls as a 'publicity stunt' on Wednesday, clearing the way for the formation of a coalition government to end the country's political uncertainty. The Supreme Court also fined the petitioner, a former Army officer, for failing to appear in court.

Photo: Pakistan's Supreme Court

Last week, retired Brigadier Ali Khan urged the Supreme Court to order new elections within 30 days that would be held under direct supervision and oversight of the judiciary 'to ensure fairness, transparency, and accountability'. He had also sought a stay order to stop the formation of a new government until the case was concluded.
However, the petitioner skipped two consecutive hearings. After that, a three-member bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Musarrat Hilali disposed of the plea and imposed a fine of Pakistani Rs 500,000 on the petitioner after being informed that a notice had been served to appear in court.


In Bottom line

According to the BBC, the process of electing a prime minister includes a parliamentary vote, which is expected by the end of February. A separate election to determine the next president will be held in the coming weeks.

It is unclear who will fill other major government positions. The contentious parliamentary election held earlier this month produced no conclusive results.
Despite Mr Khan's imprisonment and his candidates being forced to run as independents rather than under a single banner, candidates backed by his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the single largest bloc in an unexpected result.

However, their 93 seats in the National Assembly fell short of the required overall majority of 169 to form a government. That reached the way for the PMLN, led by another former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, to enter into talks with the PPP.

The PMLN secured 75 seats, while the PPP ranked third with 54 seats. However, with the potential support from smaller parties and the allocation of seats for women and religious minority representatives, the coalition partners will have enough backing in Parliament to govern effectively. It is worth noting that both parties were involved in a coalition that successfully ousted Mr. Khan from office in 2022. In January 2024, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of leaking state secrets, despite his denial of the accusations.

(Inputs from agencies)

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