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Friday Jul 27 2018

Independents to play crucial role in forming incoming Punjab government


After over a decade, the incoming Punjab government will see an interesting mix of lawmakers in the provincial assembly. 

While PML-N — a political heavyweight in Punjab — has secured a strong position with 127 seats in the Punjab Assembly, it is only nine seats ahead of PTI. 

In the face of close competition between Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to form government in Punjab, independent candidates will pray a crucial role in forming the government in the country's largest province. 

Out of the total 371 seats, a total of 149 seats are required to form the government in Punjab. With 66 seats reserved for women and eight for minorities, PML-N requires 22 of the remaining 74 seats. Similarly, PTI will need 31 independent candidates or members of other parties to join it in order to form the government in the province. 

With 27 seats, independent candidates are the third largest group in the Punjab Assembly. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has bagged six seats and Pakistan Muslim League-Q has secured seven. With one seat each, Balochistan Awami Party, PML-Functional, and Pakistan Awami Raj will also represent their voters in the Punjab Assembly.   

Sources familiar with the matter informed Geo News, PTI has invited 14 independent candidates to join the party so far. Party leader Jahangir Tareen and Chaudhry Sarwar are in contact with others.