PPP okays PML-N candidate for PM’s slot: Bilawal

Deadlock ends

PPP chairman says his party will compete for constitutional offices such as Presidency, Chairman Senate, NA Speaker n Hopes Asif Ali Zardari will reassume office of President n PPP will try to form governments in Sindh and Balochistan provinces.

ISLAMABAD  -   Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Tuesday withdrew from the race for the slot of Prime Minister and announced that his party will support the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate.

“PPP has decided that while we are not in the position to join the federal government, nor are we interested in taking ministries in such a setup, we also don’t want to see political chaos in the country. We don’t want to see a perpetual crisis in our country, the PPP Chairman said while addressing post-elections press conference here in Islamabad on Tuesday evening.

Bilawal said that the PPP will not become a part of the fed­eral cabinet but will extend its support to the upcoming gov­ernment on an issue-to-issue basis, particularly on import­ant votes such as budget, leg­islation, and the election of the Prime Minister.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari not­ed that as his party lacks the required mandate for govern­ment formation, he will not put himself forward as a candidate for the position of Prime Min­ister. He mentioned that the PML-N had reached out to the PPP regarding the formation of the government. Additionally, he highlighted that the PTI had announced it would not engage with any political parties re­garding government formation.

In response to a question, he stated that it is the prerogative of the PML-N or others to nomi­nate any person for the office of Prime Minister.

To another question, the PPP chairman expressed that his party will attempt to form gov­ernments in Sindh and Baloch­istan, as well as compete for constitutional offices such as the Presidency, Chairman Sen­ate, and Speaker of the Nation­al Assembly. He expressed his preference for former President Asif Ali Zardari to reassume the office of the president.

When asked further, Bilaw­al Bhutto Zardari affirmed that his party accepts the election results despite having reserva­tions. He urged all political par­ties, including the PTI, to pri­oritise Pakistan’s interests and abandon the politics of extrem­ism and personal enmity, em­phasizing the need for both po­litical and economic stability in the country. 

Bilawal said his party failed to get a mandate to form a govern­ment in the federation so the PPP had decided to support the PML-N nominee. This decision offers a deep dive into the com­plexities of the country’s polit­ical landscape amidst height­ened instability. The two-day CEC deliberation delved into the pressing need for stabili­ty amid concerns of a looming crisis in the nation. Bilawal said his father Asif Ali Zardari will be the party candidate for the President’s post and the PPP will also contest for the Nation­al Assembly Speaker and Chair­man Senate’s positions. “The nation needs Asif Ali Zardari as the President for unity. Not that he is my father but because the nation needs him,” he stressed.

Despite claims of victory from both Pakistan Tehreek-e-In­saf and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, PTI-backed candidates emerged victorious with the highest number of seats, secur­ing 93 out of a total of 264 de­clared seats.

PML-N, led by Nawaz Sharif, secured 75 seats, making it the largest party, while the PPP, led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, se­cured 54 seats, placing it sec­ond.

However, PTI founder Imran Khan has unequivocally reject­ed the possibility of forming a coalition with PML-N, PPP, and Muttahida Qaumi Movement after extensive consultations among various parties.

With no single party secur­ing a majority, coalition talks appeared inevitable, especial­ly since PML-N has already gar­nered support from some inde­pendent candidates. The formal discussions between PML-N and PPP commenced over the weekend to explore the possi­bility of forming a coalition gov­ernment.

Bilawal articulated the PPP’s principled stance of prioritiz­ing Pakistan’s emergence from its multifaceted crises, reso­nating with the party’s long­standing slogan of ‘Pakistan Khappay’ (We Want Pakistan).

He acknowledged the PPP’s lack of a decisive mandate to form the federal government, thereby withdrawing him­self from contention for the prime ministerial candidacy. Instead, he outlined a strate­gic approach, considering po­tential alliances to avert polit­ical chaos.

Bilwal said despite past griev­ances with the PM-N, the PPP’s willingness to engage with them highlighted the impera­tive of political stability over partisan interests. “This prag­matic stance reflects a broad­er commitment to national welfare and governance effec­tiveness,” he added.

Beyond immediate gover­nance concerns, Bilawal spoke about the intricacies of elec­toral integrity, acknowledging PPP’s reservations over irregu­larities in the electoral process.

“The PPP’s intent to address these issues underscores its commitment to upholding dem­ocratic norms and transpar­ency,” he contended. Bilawal’s discourse transcends mere po­litical maneuvering, discuss­ing the broader implications of populist challenges to demo­cratic institutions.

Cautioning against the divi­sive allure of populism and ad­vocating for consensus-based politics, he underscored the need to safeguard democratic principles amidst global trends of democratic erosion.

Bilawal’s emphasis on peace and progress in Karachi amidst Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s tactics underlined the PPP’s commitment to inclusive gover­nance and stability, transcend­ing ethnic divisions.

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