PPP sticks to PM slot demand

ISLAMABAD  -  Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is sticking to its de­mand of elevating PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to the prime minister’s post after the February 8 elections resulted in a split man­date leaving no party in a strong position to form the federal govern­ment. Even the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) together fall short of the simple majority and will need some smaller parties or inde­pendents to join their ranks for a comfortable standing.

Amid this situation, the PPP with 54 general seats on the National Assembly has become a force need­ed by the PML-N to keep the Paki­stan Tehrik-e-Insaf-led bloc away from power.

PPP supremo Asif Ali Zardari is playing well, citing the PPP’s im­portance in formation of the feder­al government.

Yesterday, PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi said that PPP should not accept less than the prime min­ister’s slot.

“As Central Secretary Informa­tion of PPP, I propose that if Bilawal Bhutto Zardari doesn’t secure the prime minister’s position in a sta­ble coalition alliance, we should opt to sit on opposition benches. Let’s prioritize our party and continue serving the people from that posi­tion,” he posted on X.

He added: “Kudos to Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for his tireless dedication and remarkable campaign efforts! His vision for a stable Pakistan resonates with the people. The Pakistan People’s Party is ready to shape a brighter future for our nation.” 

PML-N President Shehbaz Shar­if met Bilawal yesterday to under­score the “importance of political unity” for the welfare of Pakistan’s citizens, pledging to address pub­lic expectations and prioritize eco­nomic relief measures.

The PML-N leader expressed con­fidence to form the next govern­ment, hinting at the concept of a ‘unity government’ that respects the mandates of all parties and in­dependent candidates.

The situation underscores the challenges facing political players as they navigate the complexities of post-election scenarios, with the goal of achieving much-needed po­litical stability in Pakistan.

With both the parties eyeing po­sitions of power in the Centre, Punjab, and Balochistan, their ap­proaches are characterized by cau­tion and planning.

Today (February 12) serves as a pivotal moment in this unfold­ing narrative, as PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari orchestrates crucial meet­ings in Islamabad and Lahore to delve into the intricacies of their proposed coalition.

In contrast to the swift formation of the Pakistan Democratic Move­ment (PDM) in 2022, the current negotiations are expected to be more comprehensive and thorough.

PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the initial consul­tations have taken place between the PML-N and the PPP, emphasiz­ing the need to solicit input from both parties in crafting a coalition agreement.

Amid these deliberations, the PPP maintains a reserved stance, opting to withhold premature disclosure of its strategies.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari reiterates the party’s com­mitment to constructive politics, underscoring its presence across all provinces and its crucial role in potential government formations.

The PML-N is pressing the PPP to accept the president’s position along with several other key slots and support its candidate for the Prime Minister’s office.

The PPP is expected to decide on the matter today (February 12) and share the outcome of the PPP Cen­tral Executive Committee meeting with the PML-N in the next round of talks. For now, the PPP is stick­ing to its demand to elect Bilawal as the PM.

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