Crisis Over: PML-N, PPP Agree On Formula For New Govt

Zardari to become President, Shehbaz to take up PM's hot seat while both parties will form govt in Balochistan and Punjab

Crisis Over: PML-N, PPP Agree On Formula For New Govt

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have agreed to pool their seats together to form the next government in the centre and three provinces.

The decision was announced at a late-night joint news conference in Islamabad.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that they had sufficient numbers to form a government by pooling their seats together. The PML-N won 74 seats in the February 8 elections, while the PPP won 54 seats. Since the elections, both parties have attracted several independent candidates to further bolster their numbers to jointly surpass the magical figure of 134 seats to attain a majority in the house to form a hung parliament.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) are also part of the alliance and contribute a combined 20 seats.

He added that both parties will back PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif for the post of prime minister in the new assembly, while the two parties will jointly back PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari for the post of President.

Bilawal explained that their alliance was a need of the hour and in the country's larger interest.

Shehbaz said that they acknowledge the seats won by their opponent, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and who have decided to form alliances with Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) and the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) in the centre. But Shehbaz reminded them that they still had insufficient seats to take the majority.

If they have a majority, Shehbaz said the group of independents need to prove that in the house. The PTI claims to have won over 150 seats in the centre from across the country and has contested results of several seats, claiming rigging and manipulation to lower their numbers apart from hidden forces coercing PTI-backed independents to join either the PML-N or the PPP.

He added that they will move forward with consensus with their allies.

It is pertinent to note here that previously while announcing to ally with the PML-N, PPP Chairman Bilawal had said that they would not sit in government but would back them to form a government. 

After Tuesday night's announcement, it was unclear whether that position had changed and if any PPP members would take up cabinet positions. 

Both parties, however, said they will contest constitutional positions, including the National Assembly speaker and Senate Chairman.

Moreover, the PPP will be forming a government in Sindh, where they have sufficient seats. In Balochistan, the PPP will be forming a government with the PML-N after the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) refused to ally with them. In Punjab, the PPP will back the PML-N to form a government.