With no party winning a clear majority in the general elections in Pakistan, negotiations for a coalition government are taking place between parties led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, reported Reuters.
Pakistan’s National Assembly has 336 seats, out of which 266 are decided by direct voting and 70 are reserved. To form the government on its own, a party needs to win at least 134 seats through the ballot.
Among the reserved seats, 60 are for women and 10 are for non-Muslim candidates. These seats are allocated according to the strength of each party in the Assembly.
Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party has won 75 seats and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari-led Pakistan People’s Party secured 54 seats.
Independent candidates backed by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party won the most seats, 93 in all, and are also looking for allies to form the new government.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was forced to field its candidates as independents after the country’s Supreme Court blocked the party from using its electoral symbol. Khan, the party’s chief, is in jail after being convicted in multiple legal cases.
However, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party chairperson Gohar Ali Khan said on Monday that the independent candidates backed by his party will not form any alliance with Sharif or Zardari, reported Dawn.
“We don’t feel comfortable with both of them,” Ali Khan told Dawn. “There will be no talks with anyone to make a government or to make a government together with them. It is better to sit in the opposition than to make a government [with them], but we think we have the majority.”
Meanwhile, the Pakistan People’s Party on Monday evening said that it would each out to all political parties, including independent candidates backed by Khan’s party, to form an alliance.
This comes amid allegations of rigging in the voting process and delay in counting of votes that led protests in several parts of the country.