Friday Jul 27 2018

PML-N, PTI locked in battle to form Punjab government


LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz are locked in a battle to form the next Punjab government after both failed to win an outright majority in the country’s biggest provincial assembly.

In the Punjab Assembly PML-N leads with 127 seats, while PTI is a close second with 122 seats, as per the ECP's results of 294 out of 295 total seats.

PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz Sharif claimed that his party will form the next government.

“Despite massive rigging, the party emerged the biggest winner in Punjab. Majority of the 27 independent candidates are standing with us,” Hamza claimed. “We will speak to PPP and PML-Q as well.”

Meanwhile, PTI leader Naeemul Haq in a media talk said that his party has the required numbers to make the next government in Punjab.

“There is no doubt that PML-N has the lead but the assembly’s majority is with us,” he added.

Both the parties have started making contacts with the independent candidates to garner maximum support to win Punjab Assembly.

Sources have claimed that the Hamza Shehbaz’s name has been put forward by the PML-N to become leader of the house in the Punjab Assembly, and in case the party has to sit on the opposition benches, Khawaja Saad Rafique will be the opposition leader in the assembly. Aleem Khan, Fawad Chaudhry and Mian Mahmood-ur-Rasheed are being considered for the provincial top slot. 

As many as 18 independent members have shown their intent to give their support to PTI's nominee for the leader of the house and will meet Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday. 

If the PTI manages to get the support of seven Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid members along with 28 independent candidates, the vote tally will be in favour for Imran's party to reach the required 149 seats to have its chief minister.