The People’s Party of Pakistan on Tuesday backed senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Shehbaz Sharif for the post of prime minister, reported Dawn.

The announcement ended a stalemate that ensued after the February 8 election results as no party won the majority to form the government on its own.

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 won 75 seats and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari-led Pakistan People’s Party secured 54 seats.

On Tuesday night, the leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan People’s Party and their allies held a joint press conference in Islamabad. The six-party coalition has 152 general seats in the National Assembly, reported Dawn.

“We will take Pakistan out of difficult times,” said Asif Zardari, the president of the Pakistan People’s Party, reported Dawn.

The announcement came after Sharif received support from leaders of six main parties as they announced on Tuesday night their intention to form a government in the Centre and provinces, reported Dawn.

Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was selected as the chief minister of Punjab province.

At the press conference, Shehbaz Sharif also hinted at the possibility of Asif Zardari becoming the next president of Pakistan, reported Dawn. “We will not disappoint you,” Shehbaz Sharif said while responding to a question about whether the Pakistan People’s Party leader would be the next head of the state.

Meanwhile, jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf described the coalition members as “mandate thieves”.

Independent candidates backed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party won the most seats, 93 in all, and are also looking to form a coalition with regional religious parties, reported Al Jazeera.

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.

Khan has asked the party to approach all political parties other than the People’s Party of Pakistan, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawazand Muttahida Qaumi Movement, spokesperson Raoof Hasan said, reported Al Jazeera.

“Imran Khan has a clear message that formation of a government is the right of who had won the elections,” Hasan said at a press conference, reported the news website.

The party has also alleged rigging in the voting process and delay in the counting of votes that led to protests in several parts of the country.

Interim chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Gohar Ali Khan claimed on Tuesday that his party won 180 seats, instead of 93, reported Al Jazeera. “We will share a white paper with all the details,” he said.