PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari reveals power-sharing formula offered by PML-N


ISLAMABD: Former Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday revealed the power-sharing formula he was offered in which the prime minister’s post would be shared between his party and former premier Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N, with which it formed a post-poll alliance.

Four-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Bhutto-Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) held a meeting on Saturday that made “a lot of progress” while discussing several issues but did not make any announcements on a coalition government. The two parties had formed a post-poll alliance earlier this week.

Independent candidates – a majority backed by 71-year-old jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – won 93 of the 265 National Assembly seats contested in the February 8 election.

The PML-N won 75 seats, while the PPP came third with 54 seats. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has also agreed to support them with their 17 seats.

To form a government, a party must win 133 seats out of 265 contested seats in the 266-member National Assembly.

Addressing a rally in the Thatta city of the Sindh province, the 35-year-old PPP Chairman Bilawal revealed the power-sharing formula offered to his party, which he refused, the Dawn newspaper reported.

“I was told that let us be the prime minister for three years, and then you can take the premiership for the remaining two years,” he said.

“I said no to this. I said I do not want to be a prime minister like this,” Bilawal said. “If I become the prime minister, it would be after the people of Pakistan elect me,” he added.

Asserting that the country needed a political party that talked about the people’s problems, the former foreign minister said the brewing economic and political crisis had divided society.

“What should happen is that politicians and all political parties, rather than focusing on their personal benefit, should think about the people of this country,” he was quoted as saying.

His remarks came a day after Rawalpindi Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chattha alleged that the candidates who were “losing” the elections “were made to win” in the city. Before resigning from his post, he claimed that 13 candidates from Rawalpindi were forcefully declared winners.

Chattha resigned from his office after ”accepting responsibility” for the manipulation of poll results.

Former cricketer-turned-politician Khan’s PTI party began nationwide protests against alleged rigging and stealing of its mandate in the February 8 elections.

Meanwhile, the ECP has launched a probe following the allegations by Chattha, who has now been transferred to the Services and General Administration Department (SGAD) in Lahore.

The PPP has demanded an inquiry into the allegations. However, the PML-N has raised questions about the mental status of Chattha.

Even after the passage of more than a week, the Election Commission of Pakistan is yet to notify the victory of most of the independent candidates who have won National Assembly (NA) seats in the general elections.

Source: Press Trust of India

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