PPP appears to be on ‘strong footing’ after a decade

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is looking like a stronger candidate for the next general elections after about a decade when they had completed their five-year tenure in 2013.

Then on, the PPP has been down wining significantly only in Sindh. In the populous Punjab province, their presence has been minimal which blocked their way to power.

After the April no-confidence motion against former prime minister Imran Khan, however, the PPP has become a key partner in power and also a shareholder in the Punjab government.PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari are pressing for general elections on schedule after August 2023 which will give them enough time to finalise adjustments with the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and other parties to have a reasonable share of seats in the National Assembly in Punjab.

The PPP and the PML-N, in principle, have already agreed to cooperate in the elections and support each other’s candidates. This will give the PPP the much needed boost in Punjab.

The PPP is also working hard in the South Punjab to win some seats on its own. There has been positive response in South Punjab which has been seen as a hope by the PPP leadership. Recently, former president Asif Ali Zardari   predicted that the PPP would form the next government in the Centre after winning the 2023 general elections.

“PPP will form the next government. I promise if I get a chance to return to power, I will turn around Pakistan 110 degrees. The PPP has the capability to help the country negotiate all the challenges,” the PPP co-chairman said.

PPP becomes key partner in power after no-trust move against ex-premier Imran Khan

About Punjab, Zardari dismissed the impression that the PPP had been eliminated from the province as well as Gilgit-Baltistan. “This is not true. The PPP has to sacrifice its politics to ‘save Pakistan’. I will myself look into the party affairs in Punjab and ensure its revival,” he contended. This is for the first time in about a decade that the PPP has emerged as a candidate to lead the government in the Centre, although they have been leading the government in the Sindh province for third term running. The PPP had welcomed the Election Commission of Pakistan’s hint that it cannot hold general elections before May 2023, citing a census-related setback. The ECP's statement came after ousted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan demanded early elections and vowed to remain on the streets till polls are held, while the incumbent government also remains unsure about its time in office.

Together with the PML-N, the PPP has a chance to win some seats in Punjab which will boost their chances of leading a coalition government in the Centre.

Political pundits do not see any party winning an absolute majority in the National Assembly in the next general elections, and the single largest party will have to bank on smaller partners to gain simple majority. Even the ousted government led by the PTI had been relying on the smaller partners who eventually parted ways and supported the PPP and PML-N’s no-confidence motion against Imran Khan. The incumbent PML-N-led coalition is also supported by many smaller partners who are crucial to the coalition’s stay in power. The PPP in the meanwhile is in contact with the ‘electables’ to improve its standing in Punjab. Zardari is also active in   Balochistan province and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to resurface as the national party, it once was.


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