Saturday, March 2, 2024
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Both Shehbaz Sharif And Imran Khan Run To Form Government In Pakistan. Newly Elected Parliament’s Call Awaited

Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister of Pakistan, had expected his party to win handily in the legislative elections, giving him the opportunity to serve a fourth term as leader of the nation. But Sharif now has a difficult path to become prime minister.

With a surprisingly strong showing, independent candidates backed by his imprisoned opponent, Imran Khan, were dominating the vote count on Friday. This went against claims made by a national rights organisation and supporters of Khan that the election was rigged in Sharif’s benefit.

Due to this unexpected change of events, which also affected Sharif’s intentions and the support of the security establishment, he announced efforts to form a coalition government on Friday.

A day before, after casting his vote, Sharif had categorically rejected the idea of forming a coalition and declared his preference for one party to lead Pakistan for a complete five-year term.

Due to prior criminal convictions, Khan, a well-known former cricket player who is now an Islamist politician with a sizable grassroots following, was not permitted to run in Thursday’s election. He contends that politics played a role in both his sentencing and the other ongoing legal lawsuits against him.

The candidates of Khan’s party were forced to run as independents since they could not use the party symbol, a cricket bat, to help voters who were not literate recognise them on ballots.

At least 99 seats were won by independents, the majority of whom were devoted to Khan. With 71 seats won, the PML-N led the PPP with 53.

Nawaz Sharif told supporters on Friday, “We don’t have enough of a majority to form a government without the support of others and we invite allies to join the coalition so we can make joint efforts to pull Pakistan out of its problems.”

According to PTI chairman Gohar Khan, speaking to Pakistani news channel Geo, his party’s internal tally indicates securing a total of 150 seats, which would be sufficient to establish a government. However, a minimum of 169 seats is needed for a majority in the 336-seat National Assembly, the lower house of parliament.

According to Matthew Miller, a spokesman for the US State Department, there were unwarranted restrictions on the rights to free speech, association, and peaceful assembly during the elections.

Two people were killed and six others were injured in clashes between security personnel and Khan supporters who were protesting against suspected vote-rigging in the Shangla northwest district. This was confirmed by police spokesman Sadique Khan.

The parliament selects the prime minister. But Khan’s surprising performance with his candidates suggests that Sharif will have to win over all legislators with assembly seats if he hopes to govern the nation again.

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