Pakistan: Shehbaz Sharif to be the new PM as PML-N, PPP reach deal

PPP's Asif Zardari will become the President again

FILES-PAKISTAN-POLITICS Pakistan's former Prime Minister and leader of the PML-N party Shehbaz Sharif | AFP

After days of negotiations, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) finally reached a consensus to form a new coalition government in Pakistan, which will see Shehbaz Sharif become the Prime Minister again. PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari is slated to become the country's President again.

The leaders of both parties announced the decision to form the government at a joint news conference late on Tuesday night. "The PPP and PML-N have achieved the required number, and [now] we are in a position to form the government," Bilawal told reporters. 

He said former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party-backed candidates and Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) failed to achieve a simple majority in Parliament to form government in the Centre. Independent candidates - a majority backed by PTI - won 93 National Assembly seats.

“We pray the upcoming [coalition] government manages to overcome external and internal problems faced by the country," said Bhutto-Zardari, adding that after the election of the prime minister, the presidential election will follow. "We are thankful to the PML-N for throwing its weight behind PPP candidate Asif Ali Zardari," he added.

Shehbaz Sharif, who attended the press conference with Bhutto, asserted that his PML-N now has the required numbers with the PPP to be in a position to form the next government as he thanked the leadership of the two parties for the positive conclusion to the talks. He also stressed on the unity between the two parties, noting that they were well-positioned to form the government at the Centre, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

Sharif also defended their decision to form the government despite not having enough numbers, stating that they asked the PTI to form its government in the Centre but the former ruling party failed to muster up the magic number of 169. He claimed that the PML-N as well as its allied parties were ready to sit on the opposition benches had the PTI decided to form its government. He added that the PPP did not ask for ministries in the federal cabinet.  

PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari said they wanted to assure the public that this coalition would steer the country of the crises. On the performance of the 16-month-long PDM government and apparent criticism by the PPP in this regard, the PML-N president said they were sitting here because of the "success of the PDM set-up". 


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