Pakistan’s parliamentary election results have presented a difficult situation in front of the political parties. No single party has met the majority mark to become eligible to form the government. Interestingly, 93 candidates backed by jailed former PM Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged victorious in the election.
However, it is not enough to form a government. As the biggest question of ‘Who will be the next PM’ looms over the future of Pakistan, take a look at the latest updates in Pakistan election results and the potential PM candidates.
Pakistan Elections: A look at parties’ seat tally
A total of 93 independent candidates backed by Imran Khan’s PTI won the elections. The other two mainstream parties, led by Khan’s rivals, the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), led by political dynasty scion Bilawal Bhutto Zardari won 75 and 54 seats each. None of the parties was able to secure the majority.
What’s the way ahead?
It is clear that Imran Khan, despite owning public support, will not become the next prime minister of Pakistan. There have been coalition talks going on between PML-N and PPP after PTI-backed independents took the lead in the elections. The two parties are also looking to claim pacts with smaller parties and newly minted parliamentarians.
Potential Pakistan PM candidates
There are speculations that former PM Nawaz Sharif is one of the potential PM candidates. But he is not suited to lead a coalition because of his temperament, reported Bloomberg citing party insiders. However, there are still chances that he will become the next prime minister.
“Had we got a simple majority, Nawaz would have been the prime minister. However, under the current equation in Parliament, Nawaz is still in the race for the post of prime minister,” PTI quoted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Senator Irfan Saddique from his interview with a private news channel.
On the other hand, his younger brother, Shehbaz, led a coalition after Khan was ousted from power and is regarded as more accommodating.
Another on the list is Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, a former foreign minister, and son of Asif Ali Zardari. However, there is less chance that he would lead a government that came into existence through such a tainted election, reported Bloomberg.
Another chance is for an outside candidate to become prime minister to win the support of both the rival parties.
What will happen next?
Now that the election results have been announced, Pakistan’s president has to convene the inaugural session of the new National Assembly within 21 days of the election, ie February 29. During this session, lawmakers are sworn in and they elect a new prime minister through a parliamentary vote. After their swearing-in ceremony, they submit nomination papers for several key roles, including speaker and leader of the house.
What do people have to say about Pakistan election results?
Amid allegations of vote-rigging and protests, there is a great amount of public frustration with the way the election unfolded and votes were counted. Protests broke out across Pakistan after the election results. In many cases, dozens of people were arrested and the police had to use tear gas to disperse crowds in the country.
Pakistan’s Jamaat-i-Islami Party candidate forfeits seat to highlight rigging
Amid the efforts to form a coalition, senior leader of Pakistan’s Jamaat-i-Islami Party, Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, on Monday forfeited his seat in the Sindh province that he won in Thursday’s elections. He claimed that the seat belonged to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party-backed candidate who had won from the constituency he contested.
Addressing a press conference, Rehman said that he took the step to highlight the alleged rigging in many constituencies during the Feb 8 polls.
“A PTI-backed independent candidate has won and I will not avail this seat,” he said. He also claimed that PTI-backed independent candidate Saif Bari won the election according to his team’s calculations.
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