ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will hold an important meeting of its Central Executive Committee (CEC) today, Monday, to discuss proposals by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s party on forming a coalition government, in the aftermath of last week’s election that saw no political stakeholder in the country emerge with a clear majority.
The meeting will take place a day after a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) delegation, led by former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, met PPP leaders Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in the eastern city of Lahore. Both parties said they had agreed on “political cooperation” and that the PPP would discuss proposals shared by the PML-N in its CEC meeting on Monday.
Thursday’s elections presented no clear winner, as the PML-N bagged 75 National Assembly seats while the PPP secured 54. Independent candidates, mostly backed by former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won 101 seats. Political parties are scrambling to form alliances in their bid to secure the simple majority of 169 seats out of a total of 336 in the National Assembly— considering reserved slots for women and minorities— a necessary requirement for any political entity to form its government.
In a press release issued after the meeting, the PPP said it had told the Sharif-led delegation that the party’s leadership would discuss its proposals on “cooperation in government formation” in the PPP’s CEC meeting.
“Pakistan Peoples Party’s Central Executive Committee will be held tomorrow Feb. 12, Monday, at the Zardari House in Islamabad at 7:00 p.m.,” the party wrote on social media platform X on Sunday.
Sharif and ex-PM Khan’s PTI party both declared victory last Friday as the results of the polls trickled in. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) released results on Sunday afternoon, over 48 hours after voting closed on Thursday evening, causing protests from political parties who accused the Pakistani regulator of rigging.
The possibility of a political stalemate in the country leading to delays in both reforms and crucial foreign funding has sparked a selloff in its international bonds and fueled fears of further economic misery for Pakistan.
The PTI has ruled out any coalition alliance with the PPP and the PML-N, with its current chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan saying the party would prefer to sit on the opposition benches instead.
One of the options at the disposal of ex-PM Khan-backed independent candidates is to join a smaller party in parliament to form a single bloc. This would fulfill a requirement for them to be allocated reserved seats for women and minorities in parliament, pushing push them closer to a majority and allowing them to put up a candidate for prime minister.