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regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

Coalition talks hit stalemate, Pakistan in crisis due to allegations, protests, political logjam

The talks between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan Peoples Party on a power-sharing formula for a coalition government remained inconclusive

PTI Islamabad Published 19.02.24, 06:07 AM
Bilawal-Bhutto Zardari at a news conference on possible government formation in Islamabad

Bilawal-Bhutto Zardari at a news conference on possible government formation in Islamabad AP/PTI

The talks between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on a power-sharing formula for a coalition government remained inconclusive, though both sides claimed “significant progress” in the discussions, according to a media report on Sunday.

The third meeting between the Contact and Coordination Committees (CCCs) of the two parties, which took place on Saturday, remained inconclusive and both decided to meet again on Monday to finalise the power-sharing formula.

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A brief announcement issued by the PML-N after the meeting said there had been “significant progress” in talks with both sides, stressing the need for a “strong
democratic government”.

“The proposals put forth by both parties were thoroughly discussed, and while substantial progress was achieved, further deliberations are required to finalise the matters at hand,” a joint statement read.

Nawaz Sharif led PML-N has nominated Shehbaz Sharif for the Prime
Minister’s post.

Independent candidates — a majority backed by former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party won 93 of the 265 National Assembly seats that were contested in the February 8 election.

The PML-N won 75 seats while the PPP came third with 54 seats. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has also agreed to support them with their
17 seats.

To form a government, a party must win 133 seats out of 265 contested seats in the 266-member National Assembly.

During Saturday’s meeting, the PML-N was represented by Ishaq Dar, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Azam Nazeer Tarar and Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan, whereas those representing the PPP included former Sindh chief minister Murad Ali Shah, Saeed Ghani, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Nadeem Afzal Chan and Nawab Sanaullah Zehri.

In the last meeting on Thursday, representatives of both parties sought more time to assess the proposals discussed in the first meeting.

Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari-led PPP has assured the PML-N of its support in the government formation and election of the next Prime Minister on the condition that, in return, it will get key constitutional offices, including that of the President.

The PPP has also announced that despite supporting the PML-N at the centre, the party will not take ministries in the federal cabinet.

Sources said the PML-N had been vigorously trying to change the PPP’s minds on the issue of ministries before discussing the constitutional offices. The latter has so far refused to budge.

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