PML-N doesn’t need PPP backing to form govt in Punjab

LAHORE   -  With all the Punjab Assembly results declared by the Elec­tion Commission of Pakistan, the PML-N is now in a com­fortable position to form its government in Punjab even without the backing of any po­litical party. 

As the PPP and the PML-N are engaged in negotiations to form governments in the cen­ter and the provinces, Punjab is the only province where the latter does not need the sup­port of the former. 

According to the results an­nounced by the ECP, the PML-N has emerged as the single largest party with 137 seats, followed by the PTI backed independents who are 116 in number, but they lack the legitimate right to get reserved seats. The number of other inde­pendents not supported by the PTI is 22. The PPP and the PML-Q have won 10 and 8 seats respectively. Isteh­kam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP), Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) and PML-Zia have won one seat each. Election could not be held on one Punjab Assembly seat. These nu­merics have deprived the PPP, the PML-Q and other parties of the leverage to make the PML-N dependent on their support as the lat­ter just needs 12 indepen­dents to form its govern­ment in Punjab. Also, out of the 22 non-PTI backed in­dependents, some belong to the PML-N who could not get a party ticket. The rest are most likely to join the PML-N in a few days tak­ing its total strength to 159. Once they join this par­ty, the PML-N will get ad­ditional 35 reserved seats for women and four seats of non-Muslims. Accord­ing to the reserved seats’ allocation formula which is in proportion to the num­ber of general seats a po­litical party gets in a leg­islature, 4.5 general seats of Punjab Assembly make one reserved seat for wom­en; and 37.12 general seats make one seat for non-Mus­lims. In this way, the PML-N’s tally would touch the figure of around 200 in a house of 371. Even in the worst-case scenario for the PML-N in case all the inde­pendents both PTI backed and those not backed it, join the PPP, the PML-Q and other smaller parties, their combined strength cannot cross the figure of 163 or 164 (including the four reserved seats) which too far away from the mag­ic figure of 186 necessary to form government with simple majority.