PTI set to rule Punjab with support of 180 MPAs-elect

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PML-Q’s Pervaiz Elahi to be Punjab Assembly Speaker; PML-N running for NA, PA Speaker slots

Staff Reporter

Lahore

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is all set to form government in Punjab as Imran Khan-led party claimed to have gained support of 180 MPAs-elect, source said on Tuesday.
At least 149 seats are required to form government in Punjab. PML-N had secured 129 seats and PTI had taken 123 seats in recently held general elections. However, the count for PTI has escalated after its leaders managed to convince the independents.
Party sources told that the decision regarding Punjab rule will be taken by PTI Chief Imran Khan soon. Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), while refusing to support PML-N, also shook hands with PTI.
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had announced final results of all the constituencies of the national and provincial assemblies, more than 56 hours after the conclusion of voting for the 2018 General Elections in the country.
Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party has won 116 of the 270 National Assembly seats, emerging as the largest political party in the country. The PML-N grabbed 64 seats, while the PPP is in third place with 43 National Assembly seats.
Similarly, Mutahida Majlis Amal (MMA) secured 12 seats and Pakistan Muslim League (Q), Balochistan Natioanl Party, Mutahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan, and Balochistan Awami Party has secured 4, 03, 06, and 04 seat respectively.
Awami National Party (ANP) has won one seat, Awami Muslim League (AML), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaniyat and Jamhoori Wattan Party (JWP) have also grabbed one NA seat each.
Fourteen independent candidates have also remained successful in their constituencies. They are likely to play an important role in formation of the federal government.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership has reportedly decided to bring Pakistan Muslim League-Q leader and former provincial chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi as the speaker of the Punjab Assembly.
Sources said on Tuesday that the PTI leadership agreed to the suggestion as it wants to bring a strong candidate at the position since it leads against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) with a slight margin in the provincial assembly.
According to sources, however, if the PML-Q leader agrees, he will have to give up his two National Assembly seats which will bring down the PTI’s total count and dent its efforts to form a government in the centre. As political jockeying continues to form governments in Punjab and the centre, the PTI leadership has been busy holding meetings with allied parties and independents in a bid to acquire the necessary numbers to form provincial and federal governments.
At present, the PTI claims it has gained the support of 17 independents and PML-Q MPAs which, in addition to its own 123 members elected to the house, brings its total tally to 149 members in the present provincial assembly of 295 — enough to form a coalition government.
However, PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah, whose party gained 127 seats in the provincial assembly, says they have enough MPAs, including independents, to form a government and are not revealing their identities on purpose. On Monday, a delegation of PML-Q met PTI chief Imran Khan at his Bani Gala residence in the federal capital.
In the meeting, PTI leaders Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Jahangir Tareen, Asad Umar, Naeem-ul-Haq and others were also present.
The PTI said that seven PML-Q members and one independent expressed support to the party in Punjab. According to a PTI press statement, PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain ensured complete support to Imran.
The PML-Q has also rendered support to the PTI in the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, after losing hope about its ability to form a government in Punjab, the PML-N has channeled its energies towards having speakers and deputy speakers of its choice elected in the centre and Punjab, it emerged on Tuesday.
According to multiple sources, PML-N leaders Hamza Shahbaz, Rana Sanaullah and Saad Rafique have approached independent lawmakers-elect in this regard.
Recently elected independent MPAs requesting anonymity, told media that people associated with “Chief Minister House in Lahore” have been contacting lawmakers-elect on behalf of the three PML-N leaders. The MPAs claimed that the newly elected lawmakers were told that the PML-N leaders respect their decision to vote for or join the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) — all they want them to do now is to vote for the PML-N’s candidates for the slots of speakers and deputy speakers in the National Assembly and the Punjab Assembly.
Initially, PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz had announced that, “despite all the rigging”, his party would form a government in Punjab. Subsequent developments, however, indicated that the PTI was going to run the provincial government. The PML-N had also approached the PML-Q to thwart that possibility but received a cold response.
A PTI senior leader and legal adviser to Imran Khan, Babar Awan, Tuesday claimed that the party has managed to gain the support of a sufficient number of Punjab lawmakers to bring in its own chief minister. “The PML-Q had contested the elections in coalition with us and God willing they will be a part of the government as well.

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