The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has declared official results for the vast majority of seats, exposing a coalition political environment.
However, the conclusion has sparked widespread dissatisfaction among competitors, with charges of vote irregularities and cheating flying between opposing parties. Legal challenges have been filed against the declared results.
Nonetheless, behind the scenes, political maneuvering is taking place as parties negotiate with independent candidates and strengthen their positions to build governments at both the national and provincial levels.
The senior leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) signed an agreement for political collaboration amidst battles to collaborate and form a coalition government in the center, sources close to the development said on Sunday.
Both parties discussed the possibility of allying in light of the current political scenario.
“The PML-N and PPP engaged in talks to explore the feasibility of governing together,” the sources stated.
A PML-N team, led by President Shehbaz Sharif, arrived at Bilawal House in Lahore on Sunday.
It was the first formal interaction since the election process ended.
A team led by PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif met with PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari at Bilawal House in Lahore to discuss collaboration in establishing a government, according to a joint statement made by both parties.
In response, the PPP leadership assured the PML-N delegation that the suggestion would be discussed in the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting on Monday (today).
The statement highlighted conversations about the country’s general position and potential future political collaboration, with both parties expressing principled agreement on political cooperation and highlighting the need to “save the country” from political instability.
Following the largely completed vote results in all National Assembly seats, political entities intensified their discussions.
Although the PML-N won 79 seats, making it the largest single party in parliament, it would need the help of other political parties or independent candidates to create a government because there is no clear majority. Independent candidates endorsed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) maintain a commanding lead with 93 National Assembly seats.
Earlier in the day, sources disclosed PPP Co-chairman Zardari’s willingness to work with the Nawaz Sharif-led party on the condition that Bilawal be made Prime Minister.
Bilawal, they claimed, highlighted the significance of dialogue and reconciliation for political stability, claiming that no government could be formed at the Centre, Punjab, or Balochistan without the PPP’s backing.
Bilawal emphasized the need for political agreement within the PPP’s Central Executive Committee in addressing the country’s concerns and effecting good change, expressing his opposition to an alliance with the PML-N as he campaigned against partnership during the elections.
Pakistan held its largest-ever general elections on February 8, with significant voter turnout as residents exercised their right to elect members to national and provincial assemblies around the country.
Meanwhile, the next government is preparing to address a slew of serious challenges, ranging from economic insecurity and security worries to the increasingly important issue of climate change.
The National Assembly has 266 MPs, with 133 required for a party to win a majority and establish a government.
Official results for 262 constituencies have been released, showing a voter turnout of 45.49%, with 58,284,465 votes cast.
Only two constituencies have yet to receive results, while NA-15, NA-46, NA-47, NA-48, and NA-88 have had their results withheld. Furthermore, the NA-8 elections have been postponed.
According to the ECP’s conclusions, the seats in the National Assembly are distributed as follows: Independent candidates sponsored by the PTI hold the most seats (101), followed by the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (75).
The Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) won 54 seats, with the Muttahida Qomi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) taking 17 seats.
The Pakistan Muslim League (PML) won three seats, followed by Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam Pakistan (JUI-P) and Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP), who won three and two seats respectively. The Balochistan National Party (BNP) also secured two seats in the National Assembly. In the Punjab Assembly, where 297 seats are up for grabs, Independent candidates hold 138 seats, just outnumbering the PML-N with 137.
The PPPP and PML trail with ten and eight seats, respectively.