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Pakistani parties steal electoral mandate as coalition forms without Imran Khan

Pakistani parties steal electoral mandate as coalition forms without Imran Khan


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Pakistan's two most powerful political parties have finalized a deal to form a coalition government, weeks after being defeated in the general election by independent candidates backed by Imran Khan's opposition party.

The deal between the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People's Party will result in a government similar in composition to the one that ousted Mr Khan as prime minister in 2022, with Shehbaz Sharif reinstalled as Prime Minister.

The PML-N won 79 seats in the February 8 elections and the PPP 54, both well short of the 133 needed for an absolute majority and behind the 92 seats won by independents backed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ( PTI) by Mr. Khan. to party.

The PTI has accused the two former parties, seen as enjoying the backing of the powerful military, of stealing Mr Khan's mandate, as well as rigging the elections on a large scale in their favor.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari announced at a joint press conference held at midnight at Zardari House that the PMLN and PPP collectively had enough seats to establish the federal government.

Pakistan People's Party and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz now have full strength and we are in a position to form the next government, Mr. Bhutto Zardari said alongside top leaders of both parties.

PMLN President Shehbaz Sharif has been proposed as the prime ministerial candidate, Dawn reported. Asif Ali Zardari is expected to become president in a vote by MPs in the coming weeks.

The coalition's goal is to address the country's economic crisis, Mr. Bhutto Zardari said.

Mr. Sharif pledged to act collectively to address economic and other challenges.

At Tuesday's press conference, Sharif said authorities had invited the PTI to form a government, but the party was unable to secure the seats needed to do so. The PTI had previously ruled out the idea of ​​forming a coalition with any of the other major parties after the elections.

Mr Sharif said the PMLN and its allied parties would have been ready to sit on the opposition benches if the PTI had succeeded in forming its government.

Meanwhile, the PTI continued to contest the results of an election marred by nationwide protests, rigged allegations and internet restrictions. Social networking site X, formerly known as Twitter, only became accessible to users in Pakistan late Tuesday night, after being inaccessible since Saturday. The government has not yet commented on the cause of this disruption.

Asked about the formation of the new government by The Independent, Taimur Khan Jhagra, former PTI Finance Minister Khyber Pakhtunwala told a press briefing that given what PDM-1 [Pakistan Democratic Movement] reached, I think people should not have high hopes.

The PDM was a coalition of at least 11 political parties in Pakistan that came together to oust then Prime Minister Imran Khan. The current coalition is called PDM 2.0.

Mr. Jhagra continues: They know that they have not only eroded but destroyed their legitimacy. The kind of reform that is needed in terms of the next IMF program, I'm sure they're going to have nightmares [about] what will happen to their vote bank if they try to do this.

He pointed out that the rest of the country is having nightmares about Ishaq Dar being Finance Minister again. So we are still living in interesting times. Mr. Dar has served four terms as Pakistan's finance minister since the 1990s, including three terms in the Sharif administrations.

Mr Jhagra described this month's vote as the most rigged election in Pakistan's history. He said the polls were amateurishly rigged.

The results were falsified in nine constituencies by forgers in Peshawar alone, he said. He presented initial Form 45 tallies from individual polling stations in constituencies whose results he claimed were falsified.

The PTI also demanded the establishment of a judicial commission to look into frauds in Khyber Pakhtunwala province.

It comes after a senior Pakistani official admitted to tampering with the country's elections after voting ended inconclusively amid accusations of fraud. Liaqat Ali Chattha, the commissioner of Rawalpindi city in Punjab, announced on Saturday that he would surrender to the police and resign from his post.

Pakistan's Election Commission rejected Mr Chattha's allegations of widespread fraud, but said in a press release it would investigate the matter. The electoral authority said it had not given any direction to Mr Chattha regarding a change in the election results.




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